Evacuation operations at the Kabul airport. / EUROPA PRESS

US military bases in Spain to play key role in evacuation of collaborators from Afghanistan

After a telephone call between Biden and Sánchez at the weekend it was agreed 'to use Rota and Morón to temporarily host America's Afghan collaborators in transit to other destinations'

RAMÓN GORRIARÁN

The crisis in Afghanistan has become the key to open communication channels between Spain's prime minister and the United States. Pedro Sánchez and Joe Biden had their first, proper conversation on Saturday night, since the American president came to power on 20 January, to address the chaotic evacuation situation at Kabul airport.

Until now, the only contact between the pair had been limited to a brief, one-minute informal chat in the corridors of NATO headquarters in Brussels on 14 June.

The US president did not include Sánchez in his round of meetings with some thirty leaders from other countries after his inauguration seven months ago, something that led the opposition to accuse Spain's Prime Minister from lacking 'international weight'.

It was a «fruitful» conversation, Sánchez wrote on his Twitter account after the 25-minute telephone chat at the weekend. A statement, from Madrid, said that both leaders reaffirmed their «willingness to continue cooperating closely in order to continue facilitating evacuation operations in Afghanistan.»

They also agreed «to use the Rota and Morón bases to temporarily host America's Afghan collaborators in transit to other destinations.»

The White House also issued a statement, noting that Biden «praised Spain's leadership in seeking international support for Afghan women and girls.» He also thanked the Sánchez government for its collaboration with Afghan refugees heading to the United States.