Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, in an interview with Il Corriere della Sera newspaper, said that Italy is quickly ready to evacuate the trapped Taliban diplomats and citizens from Kabul.
In just over a week, the Taliban controlled nearly all of northern, western and southern Afghanistan, reaching the gates of Kabul.
We are preparing for any eventuality, including evacuation. We need to think about the safety of our embassy staff and our citizens. If necessary, we will ship them all safely to Italy quickly.
Italy, one of the Western powers most involved in Afghanistan, brought its last soldiers home in June as part of the rapid withdrawal of NATO units. Italy, along with the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Germany, was one of the five most engaged countries in the Resolute Support mission.
In all, 723 Italian soldiers were wounded and 53 lost their lives, out of a total of 50,000 soldiers deployed to Afghanistan over the past 20 years.
‘The West was wrong’
According to the foreign minister, “Europe will have to play a leading role and pretend to be a reliable interlocutor on the geopolitical chessboard.”
The latter, in fact, classifies this plan of action as normal, having “made mistakes in the West.”
Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini spoke on Friday about the fate of Afghan translators who cooperated with the Italian army. “Despite the rapid deterioration in the security situation, humanitarian transportation efforts for Afghan personnel who cooperated with Italy are continuing,” he said in a statement.