Afghan collaborators, their families, Spanish soldiers and members of the embassy board a Spanish military plane as part of their evacuation, at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 27, 2021. Ministry of Defense of Spain/Handout via REUTERS
Staff involved in efforts to evacuate as many people from Kabul as possible after the Taliban seized power did their best in extremely difficult conditions, NATO's senior civilian representative to Afghanistan said on Saturday.
"We have a clean conscience ... because with what we had, we did our best under the circumstances," Italian diplomat Stefano Pontecorvo told reporters on arriving in Rome.
Pontecorvo, who left Afghanistan on Friday when the last Italian flight departed, said those involved in the evacuation crossed the line between possible and impossible to get everybody they could out of the country.
"We have left a few behind which we are not abandoning but we will strive our best to take back home," he told reporters.
Italian military planes have taken more than 4,800 Afghans out of the country as of Aug. 27, including more than 1,400 children, the defense ministry has said.
Foreign minister Luigi Di Maio praised Italian diplomats and military officials for their contribution to the evacuations of the civilians.
"We have evacuated more Afghan nationals than any other European Union country," he said.
Writing by Angelo Amante; editing by Philippa Fletcher
Grace period for expats to correct legal status begins today
Recruit a Project Officer for Jobs in Qatar with This Outsourcing Service
Umrah and prayer at Grand Mosque permits restricted for fully vaccinated pilgrims from Oct. 10
Philippine Nobel winner Ressa calls Facebook 'biased against facts'
Pfizer: Know all about the Covid-19 vaccine and its usage in Qatar
FIFA’22 over Covid-19: Qatar limbers up for the World Cup amidst a worldwide pandemic
Top 5 Art Galleries You Must Explore in Qatar
Afghan Women Speaks on Unyielding Hope of Restoring Their Homeland