According to Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva, the work of identifying and rescuing Afghan citizens “has not stopped”, but she stressed that it is a more complex process in terms of travel when compared to the situation in Ukraine.

“Work has not stopped and every week we receive not only Ukrainian citizens who chose to come to Portugal, but also Afghan citizens, for example,” said the minister, adding that a group arrived at the weekend.

Asked if Portugal has been more diligent in measures to support and protect Ukrainian refugees than in other situations, Mariana Vieira da Silva replied that despite understanding the criticism, “in the Portuguese case this is not true”.

“During August and September [2021], when the Afghan crisis first began, we took the same type of measures. What happens is that we are now talking about numbers that do not compare with any situation that Europe has experienced”, she justified, stressing as a “good sign” the fact that now “everyone is opening their doors”.