Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki informed on Thursday about the end of the evacuation action from Afghanistan. The head of the prime minister’s office, Michał Dworczyk, said that over 1,100 people were transported to Poland, of which 937 were Afghan citizens, people cooperating with the Polish military and diplomacy, and their families.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the end of the evacuation activities during a joint conference at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister with the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Poland, Tahir Quadira, and the head of the Prime Minister’s office, Michał Dworczyk. – Today the evacuation action, which we organized for Poles and for Polish associates from Afghanistan, ends, the head of the government said.
Prime Minister Morawiecki on the evacuation from Afghanistan
– We started the action in June, when the situation in Afghanistan began to deteriorate. It was then that we brought the first associates to Poland, the first translators, the first people who worked with us for many years, as well as some Poles who served in Afghanistan for an international peace mission, an international stabilization mission, said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Morawiecki assured that “Poland does not leave its friends in need”. He emphasized that all those who are brought from Afghanistan are either Poles working there for stability and peace, or Poles’ collaborators.
He added that the Polish side was asked by international organizations to provide support in the logistics process. – Poland helped international organizations to evacuate both equipment and personnel from Afghanistan – he said. He informed that we also helped other EU countries to evacuate people, including Lithuania and Estonia, also German citizens were on board Polish planes. – Poland does not leave those who cooperate with us in need. We are trying wherever we can provide help and support, stressed the Prime Minister.
Summary of the evacuation from Afghanistan
The Prime Minister informed that, apart from the Poles who were there, about 900 Afghans were brought to Poland, including about 300 women and about 300 children. – Of course, we will also provide them with support here in the territory of the Republic of Poland – he stressed.
As stated by Michał Dworczyk, 44 flights took place on the air bridge connecting Kabul with Warsaw, thanks to which more than 1,100 people were transported to Poland, of which 937 people are Afghan citizens who have cooperated with Polish troops and Polish diplomacy in the last 20 years ” . “These were people who could be in danger and expressed a desire to leave,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcin Przydacz, at a conference organized after 9 o’clock, he specified that during the entire evacuation operation Almost 1,300 people were transported, of which slightly over a thousand will stay in Poland in the near future. He added that just over 200 people are collaborators evacuated at the request of other countries and other organizations.
Dworczyk said that “the evacuees were people who could be in danger, who expressed a desire to leave”. – These people and their families were given such an opportunity and we carried out this evacuation. During these days, we managed to evacuate the absolute majority of those people who managed to get to Poland – he said.
The head of the prime minister’s chancellery recalled that last Monday, after the decision to conduct the evacuation operation, an air bridge was created between Warsaw, Tbilisi in Georgia, Navoi in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan’s Kabul. – Government and civil planes flew on the Warsaw – Navoi section. On the other hand, military planes flew between Navoi and Kabul – said Dworczyk.
Dworczyk on aid for allied states and international organizations
The head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister said that “the operation in the framework of allied solidarity was much broader than just carrying out the evacuation” and added that “it is still ongoing”. – After arrangements with the NATO Secretary General [Jensem Stoltenbergiem – red.] Mr. Prime Minister, about 500 NATO associates came to Poland temporarily, who later will go to destination countries. For now, we are securing their transport and temporary stay in Poland – Dworczyk informed.
He said that “by meeting our commitments to foreign partners and helping them, 45 EU Afghan associates who have worked in Kabul for the EU in recent years will join us from the European Union.” He also stated that “at the request of the Alliance, forces and resources of the Polish Armed Forces were allocated within the framework of the crisis operation mechanism, with which we will continue to support our allies.” He stressed that “all those who cooperated closely and who were reached were taken to Poland”.
– In addition to fulfilling our honorary commitment to people who have helped Poles over the last 20 years, we have helped citizens and governments of other countries – Lithuania, Estonia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, and organizations such as the IOC [Międzynarodowy Komitet Olimpijski – red.], The International Monetary Fund and other international organizations that turned to us for help, he added.
“Today we are finishing the evacuation action in Afghanistan”
The Prime Minister and the head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister were asked at the conference when Polish military personnel would return from Afghanistan and when NATO collaborators from this country whom we are to receive will be in Poland. – The American mission ends on August 31, the British mission tomorrow, August 27, at the latest on 28, our mission ends today – said Morawiecki. He added that some people would still be transported from safe areas such as Uzbekistan, but “today we are finishing the evacuation operation in Afghanistan.”
Speaking about NATO associates who are to reach Poland, the head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister noted that “negotiations are underway on the working level with NATO headquarters”. “The last flight with civilians will land at 10.30,” he said.
The prime minister was asked about the idea “to develop and find work for the evacuated Afghans.” – By fulfilling our allied commitments, as well as helping Poland’s collaborators, decided to carry out this efficient evacuation operation and Poland is becoming a safe haven for these people – replied the head of the government. As he added, “these people are free Afghans.” – Some of them, as soon as there are safe and normal conditions in Afghanistan, will want to go back there. We will also help in this process, and today they are free friends of Poland – he emphasized. – Poland does not leave its friends in need and we always try to help in such situations – he emphasized.
Afghanistan Ambassador: Poland stood shoulder to shoulder with us
During the conference, the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Poland, Tahir Quadiry, thanked the head of the Polish government for help in the evacuation. – There is a humanitarian crisis in my country. Regardless of this crisis, our great partner, Poland stood shoulder to shoulder with us, with Afghanistan – said Qadiry.
– In 2001, after the fall of the Taliban regime, Poland engaged in the stabilization mission in Afghanistan, leaving a wonderful heritage in the heart of Afghan citizens. In 2021, Polish soldiers had to return to Afghanistan as a result of this crisis, reaching out to all those who supported the Polish mission in Afghanistan for all these years, he emphasized.
He pointed out that the evacuated people from Afghanistan who have flown to Poland in recent days are “the best people in my country”. – They will make a great contribution to the Polish economy, and when the situation in Afghanistan changes, when they have their security ensured, they will return to their country – he stressed.
– We are devastated by the situation [w Afganistanie – przyp. red.]but the feeling that we have such wonderful friends gives us hope and strength. We are convinced that Poles are part of our DNA. We will never give in to the tyranny that is imposed on us. This is part of the heritage of the Polish mission in Afghanistan. Someday we will rise up as a nation of unity and regain freedom – he added.
During the conference, Tahir Quadiry handed over an open letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in which the Ambassador of Afghanistan expressed his gratitude to Poland and Poles.
Main photo source: Chancellery of the Prime Minister