This is the very last evacuation of Operation Apagan, launched on August 15 after the takeover of the country by the Taliban. An A400M military plane landed this Sunday around 4:30 p.m. at the Vélizy-Villacoublay military airport (Yvelines). This aircraft was making the last rotation from Kabul, with the last evacuees and the diplomatic team on board.
Prime Minister Jean Castex is on site, accompanied by the Minister of the Armed Forces, the Chief of Defense Staff and the Secretary General of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. On board the aircraft, which made a stopover in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates: military personnel as well as diplomats, including the French Ambassador to Afghanistan David Martinon, and members of the French Embassy in the Arab Emirates United.
The French airlift enabled the evacuation of 2,824 people, including more than 2,600 Afghans. Emmanuel Macron has indicated his desire to continue repatriations after August 31, the date of the final withdrawal of the Americans. With this in mind, discussions have been initiated with the Taliban.
VIDEO. Afghanistan: 2,834 people evacuated by France, announces Emmanuel Macron
France put an end to its evacuation operations on Friday, “the security conditions no longer being met at the airport” of Kabul, indicated the Ministers of the Armed Forces and of Foreign Affairs, Florence Parly and Jean-Yves Le Drian. , because of the “rapid disengagement of American forces” which will have left Afghanistan on August 31st.
Still 300 Americans to evacuate
After an attack that killed around 100 people including 13 American soldiers last Thursday near Kabul airport, the situation is extremely tense on the spot. A rocket explosion was heard this Sunday in Kabul, initially raising fears of a new attack, while Joe Biden warned on Saturday that an attack was “very likely” at the airport, the only way out country, “within 24 to 36 hours”.
“300 Americans” remain to be evacuated from Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on ABC channel on Sunday. “We are working tirelessly these hours and days to get them out of there,” he said, 48 hours before the US withdrawal deadline.
“We still have several thousand Afghans on our lists that we want to protect,” Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday in an interview with the JDD. The Head of State wishes to present with London, Monday to the UN Security Council, a resolution for the creation in Kabul of a “safe zone”, that is to say a protected zone which will allow the continuation humanitarian operations on the spot.