The plane from the airport in Uzbekistan picked up Afghan citizens who helped Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed. He added that they are being transported “to a safe place in Poland”. The civilian Boeing 787 Dreamliner is heading towards Warsaw. It is due to land after 10.30 p.m.
In total, Poland sent three military planes to Afghanistan to evacuate from Kabul. The first landed in the Taliban captured capital on Wednesday morning. The head of the prime minister’s office, Michał Dworczyk, said that 250-260 people had signed up for the evacuation. They are mainly collaborators of the Polish mission in Afghanistan, but also several Polish citizens.
Evacuation by air takes place mainly through the neighboring Uzbekistan. After 1 p.m., the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marcin Przydacz, informed that the first Polish military aircraft in Uzbekistan landed on Wednesday afternoon. There, 50 people evacuated for several hours – including a Polish citizen – were under the care of a Polish consul. They waited for the transfer to the second – this time civil – plane and departure to Warsaw.
After 7 p.m., Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that “the evacuation of Afghan citizens who helped Poland in this country entered the next stage”. In the entry he confirmed that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner “picked them up from the airport in Uzbekistan” and they are being transported “to a safe place in Poland”.
“This is, of course, not the end of our assistance and the next transport will take the remaining people. We also want to help the EU and NATO in further evacuation,” added the head of government. The entry was accompanied by photos of a group of people standing on the tarmac.
Boeing of Polish airlines took off from the Navoi International airport in Uzbekistan at 20.49 local time (17.49 Polish time). The machine is to land in Warsaw around 10.30 PM Polish time.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: nearly 50 people evacuated to Uzbekistan are now safe
Earlier that day, the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marcin Przydacz, spoke about the details of the evacuation and Poland’s actions in this area. He informed that there was one Polish citizen among the evacuees, and the remaining people were involved in political activities, also in cooperation with Polish institutions in Afghanistan during the military and diplomatic mission.
He specified that there were also children who were helped on the plane. – These are not only our former colleagues, but also their families, including their infants, he said.
– The next dozen, several dozen (people – ed.) – these numbers are changing – are under the care of the Polish consul there in Kabul. We also plan to transport these people to a safe place as soon as possible – he said, adding that the list of people who report is being updated on an ongoing basis, but also because some of the waiting people depart by other means of transport.
He also admitted that one of the Polish journalists who was there had decided to stay in Afghanistan.
Przydacz: we provided consular protection on the spot to four German citizens
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also explained that the situation in Afghanistan is “very difficult”.
– Many refugees, many of those people who want to leave Afghanistan for political reasons, report that they have difficulties getting to the airport, and there are scenes that are hard to imagine at the airport itself – he said. – Our consuls work in such conditions. They have enormous difficulty in making contact. In such a large, very active crowd there are people who declare their willingness to come to Poland. Of course, these people are verified – he said.
– We also provided local consular protection to four German citizens who came to the Polish consul. In fact, it was the Polish consul who picked them up from the crowd, gave them appropriate care and security, Przydacz said. – It is up to their decision (it belongs to – ed.) Whether they want to return to their country with the help of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Poland can also offer them logistical assistance. At this stage, they are under the care of the Polish state – he added.
– We will try to continue this action as long as it is physically possible to carry it out on the territory of Afghanistan, or until it turns out that all verified people who actually cooperated with the Polish state need help (i – ed. ) this help will be given to them – he assured.
As the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued, “you have to be aware that the security situation there changes from hour to hour.” – It is difficult to describe it as an improving security situation, on the contrary – he stressed.
Morawiecki: We did what had to be done
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also spoke about the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday afternoon. He said, among other things, that Poland helps to take not only Polish citizens, but also “will contribute to ensuring the security of Afghan citizens and other countries that cooperate with NATO”.
– We did what had to be done to protect Polish citizens, but also the citizens of Afghanistan who worked with us, and also citizens of other countries. And this help is provided – said Morawiecki.
Two Polish women evacuated by the Czechs
On Tuesday evening, a Czech military plane, carrying 87 people from Kabul, landed at the military airport near Prague. Two Polish women were among the evacuees, the Czech ambassador to Kabul, Czech diplomats and Afghan collaborators.
Main photo source: facebook.com/MorawieckiPL