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The President of the Government of Spain participates in the extraordinary G20 Summit on Afghanistan

Pedro Sánchez stresses the need for continued support for the Afghan people

Tuesday 12 October 2021

The President of the Government of Spain stressed that Spain "has been and will continue to be at the side of the Afghan population" and that the immediate priorities are "to make progress in evacuation efforts, guarantee humanitarian assistance and respect for the human rights of all Afghans, especially women and girls". Spain is one of the countries promoting the UN Human Rights Council resolution on respect for the rights of Afghan women and girls that was approved in August 2021.

Spain repatriated more than 2,200 people in the first phase of the evacuation operation and has temporarily hosted hundreds of Afghans who worked with Spain and with partners and allies. President Sánchez stressed: "We are determined to evacuate all our Afghan ex-collaborators at risk. We will leave no one behind". Spain has therefore begun the second phase of evacuation with the arrival yesterday of the first Spanish Air Force plane from Islamabad (Pakistan) with 84 people at the Torrejón de Ardoz base in Madrid. Spain will receive a second plane this afternoon.

In addition to continuing the evacuation, the Government of Spain has pledged 20 million euros through the United Nations in order to reach the entire population and contribute to the provision of basic services. The president also stressed the need to make the resumption of development cooperation conditional on the new Afghan leadership's compliance with the international community's demands.

Sánchez expressed concern about the possibility of the return of international terrorist networks to Afghanistan and stressed the need for close coordination with regional actors. The EU is already working on a platform with Afghanistan's neighbouring countries to address potential future challenges such as the influence of radical groups, economic consequences and the influx of migrants and refugees.

Sánchez insisted that the G20 should draw collective lessons from the situation in Afghanistan for other fragile regions, such as the Sahel, "which need our continued attention and support to achieve long-term stability and development".

Spain is committed to the Afghan people and has been an important partner and contributor to the country and is committed to continue working to ensure that the achievements of the last 20 years are not lost. Our country has built schools, hospitals and roads in Afghanistan, as well as infrastructure and services to ensure people's access to clean water and sanitation.

"Afghanistan's challenges have a global dimension and must be addressed in a coordinated and determined manner. We cannot stand idly by in the face of the suffering of the Afghan people," the President of the Government of Spain stressed.

Non official translation