Leaders praise EU solidarity at Afghan refugee center in Madrid

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Madrid, August 21 (EFE) .- The Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council on Saturday visited a reception center at a Spanish air base outside Madrid for Afghans evacuated from Kabul.

Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel joined Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the temporary center in Torrejón de Ardoz which can accommodate up to 1,000 people.

“The facilities that we saw here today, I think (are) a clear symbol of the reaction of the European Union and Spain,” Sanchez said.

“This hub, organized to provide support and assistance to our Afghan collaborators and refugees, represents the values ​​and principles of the EU – unity and solidarity.”

He added: “Spain is proud to carry out this task, this distribution responsibility. Spain is there in good times and bad.

Von der Leyen thanked Sanchez and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for ‘taking the initiative’ to set up the reception center for EU Afghan colleagues and their families .

“When needed, Spain has shown humanity and Spain has shown a great sense of solidarity,” she said.

The Commission President also said the EU has not officially recognized the Taliban, the militant Islamist group that came to power last week after toppling the Afghan government as foreign troops complete their withdrawal from the nation. Himalayan after 20 years.

While she said there had been talks with the Taliban, she warned that a billion euros in EU aid would be withheld unless activists could ensure “respect for human rights. rights, the good treatment of minorities and respect for the rights of women and girls, just to name a few.

“Not a single euro can go to a regime that denies women and girls their full freedoms and rights to education and careers. We may hear the words of the Taliban, but we will measure them first and foremost by their actions and actions, ”said Von der Leyen. EFE

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