| 23 May 2024, Thursday |

“We did our best” on Kabul evacuation, NATO representative says

Staff involved in attempts to evacuate as many people from Kabul as possible after the Taliban took power did their best under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, according to NATO’s Chief civilian representative in Afghanistan.

On his arrival in Rome, Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo told reporters, “We have a clear conscience… because with what we had, we did our best under the circumstances.”

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.

  • Reuters