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King Felipe visits Afghanistan reception centre set up in Spain

King Felipe VI of Spain

King Felipe has visited the reception centre set up in Spain for those being flown in from Afghanistan.

Felipe VI headed to the base at Torrejon on August 28th 2021 with the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez. He met many of the politicians involved in the programme including the Health Minister, Carolina Darias, and the coordinator of the Task Force for Repatriations from Afghanistan, Felix Bolaños.

The Spanish monarch also spoke with his country’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Gabriel Ferrán, and his deputy, Paula Sánchez Díaz, who had both landed on the last Spanish flight out of Kabul on August 27th 2021.

During his visit he met many of those involved in organising the repatriation of people from Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban. Representatives from the Red Cross, the Ministry of Defence and the emergency services spoke to the King of Spain about their work which began with the arrival of a plane carrying 55 people on August 19th 2021.

He also met one of the Afghan families brought to safety in Spain as part of the rescue operation.

The visit included a tour of the living quarters that they and others are now using following their arrival. Felipe saw some of the temporary housing now being used including igloo pods with bunk beds, a huge dining area and the bathroom facilities.

Felipe also took part in a meeting of the working group focused on the repatriation effort and asked Spain’s Prime Minister to pass on his recognition for the work being done by hundreds to bring people to safety.

The Spanish repatriation mission from Afghanistan began on August 16th 2021 when planes took off from Zaragoza to begin the rescue. The Spanish Air Force and the Military Emergency Unit set up a Provisional Transit Installation at the Torrejón Air Base for Afghan families who are being evacuated on August 17th 2021.

King Felipe asked Pedro Sanchez to convey his recognition of the ongoing work to all those involved.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.