All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

Live News From Spain As It Happens

Keep up to date with all the latest news from Spain as it happens. The blog will be updated constantly throughout the day bringing you all the latest stories as they break.

Spain welcomes more Afghan refugees: Safe haven for 32 families, including 15 babies
Sunday, August 14, 2022 @ 7:39 PM

NEARLY 300 Afghans who worked with Spanish service personnel in the Asian country have arrived in Spain with their families, and will be granted refugee status upon application, according to foreign affairs minister José Manuel Albares. 

Afghans queuing at Kabul airport to escape last year when several countries chartered round-the-clock flights in a mass international rescue operation (photo by Spain's ministry of defence)

Along with Secretary of State for Migrations, Isabel Castro Fernández, Albares confirmed the safe arrival this week of a plane chartered from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad at the military airbase in Torrejón de Ardoz (Greater Madrid region).

A year on from the mass rescue operation that saw Afghan nationals flown to safety after the Taliban returned to power – 20 years on from the start of the war when they first entered government – a group made up of support workers, including interpreters, who cooperated with Spanish authorities and troops during the nation's long mission, plus partners, children and other immediate relatives, have been evacuated.

Among the family members who have travelled with them are 'about 15 babies', Albares and Castro revealed.

They had not been left in danger in Afghanistan all this time, however – the group of 294 who arrived in Spain this week have mostly been in the neighbouring nation of Pakistan.

Spain has so far rescued around 3,000 Afghans and resettled them on home turf – about 2,000 of whom were flown to Torrejón de Ardoz in the 11 days between July 16 and 27, 2021, straight from the capital, Kabul.

After this, the remaining 1,000 or so have been gradually brought to Spain from nearby nations including Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

Prior to the 294 new arrivals this week, the last group arrived a month or so back, Albares and Castro recall.

The entrance to Torrejón de Ardoz military air base (photo: Alan Wilson from Cambs/Wikimedia Commons)

As each of the latest incomers entered the air terminal, they were informed about how to seek asylum in Spain, and given the opportunity to do so as soon as they got through border control.

Advisors on site were from United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR, known as ACNUR in Spain), and the interior ministry's Asylum and Refuge Office.

Given that the Spanish government assumed ahead of their landing that all those on board would want to apply for refugee status in the country, authorities arranged for charities and social support associations to join them in transferring all arrivals to asylum centres.

Read mroe at


Like 0


Only registered users can comment on this blog post. Please Sign In or Register now.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x