Poland's evacuation mission from Afghanistan has brought over 850 people to safety

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

So far, 12 Polish planes, carrying over 850 people in total, have flown out of Kabul to Poland, the evacuation of Afghans and other nationalities continues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

After the United States withdrew most of its troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban occupied much of the country. On August 15, they entered the capital of Kabul and took control of the presidential palace. Since then, EU and NATO countries have been in the process of evacuating their citizens and associates from Afghanistan.

Following a decision by President Andrzej Duda, a Polish Military Contingent, consisting of up to 100 people, went to Afghanistan to support the evacuation of Afghan collaborators of Poland and other NATO countries from the country.

The evacuation carried out by the Polish services was carried out by military planes from Kabul to Uzbekistan, from where the evacuees were transported to Poland by the planes of the Polish national carrier PLL LOT. The first plane with evacuees landed in Warsaw on Wednesday, August 18. All six Polish citizens who turned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several hundred Afghan collaborators of the Polish services have been evacuated. Poland also evacuated collaborators of allied states and international institutions, including employees of the International Monetary Fund.

On Wednesday, the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marcin Przydacz, said that Poland could no longer risk the lives of diplomats and military personnel in Afghanistan due to the unstable situation in the country.

The head of the Prime Minister's Office said on Wednesday morning that the final Polish flight carrying Afghan evacuees from Kabul should take-off for Warsaw on Wednesday night.

Also on Wednesday, President Andrzej Duda spoke with the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and thanked his country for its help during the evacuation mission from Kabul. For the purposes of the evacuation, the Uzbek authorities allowed Poland the use of the international airport in Navoi, where the Polish flights were given permission to make stopovers.