Twelve Portuguese "have already been removed, the vast majority working as security for the European Union delegation" in Kabul, he explained to Lusa, adding that "there are still some Portuguese to remove who are involved in operational activity at the airport". Stressing that Portugal has, "at this moment, no reason to be concerned with this dimension of Portuguese civilians who are still in Kabul", Santos Silva guaranteed that those who are still in that country "will be withdrawn shortly, as the control activities of the air traffic at Kabul airport is no longer the responsibility of the international community”.
Portugal is also, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, identifying those Afghans who have collaborated with the international community and who, “therefore, their lives may be at risk and need security”. Minister João Gomes Cravinho said on Sunday that Portugal will aid the European Union and NATO operation to protect citizens in Afghanistan and is available to receive Afghan refugees.
According to Gomes Cravinho, the number of refugees to be received in Portugal is still being evaluated, but the Portuguese force deployed in the country in recent years totaled “243 Afghan officials, plus their families”. With this scenario, he declared, there are "about a thousand people who will need to leave the country."
The Minister of Foreign Affairs told Lusa that this work of identifying and helping employees is underway and recalled that "today, there will be a meeting in Brussels at the level of ambassadors, in the security policy committee", in which the issue should be debated. The situation in Afghanistan will also be discussed on Tuesday at an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs ministers of the 27, in which Portugal will be represented by the Secretary of State for European Affairs, as Santos Silva is currently on vacation.
After several offensives started in May this year, following the announcement by the United States of the final withdrawal of its military from Afghanistan, the Taliban on Sunday conquered the last of the large cities that were not yet under its power, the capital, Kabul, having today declared the end of the war in Afghanistan and its victory.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country on Sunday as the Taliban were at the gates of the capital as leaders of the radical Islamic movement seized the presidential palace. The entry of Taliban forces into Kabul ended a two-decade military campaign led by the United States and supported by its allies, including Portugal.
Afghan security forces, trained by the foreign military, collapsed before the Taliban entered the city of Kabul. Thousands of Afghans in Kabul are trying to flee the country and many have headed to the international airport where the situation is chaotic.