The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, are travelling to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, 23 August 2021. They will meet at the Al-Dhafra Air Base with the diplomats, military personnel, police officers and everyone working on evacuation operations from Kabul, in extremely difficult conditions.
Operation APAGAN, launched on 15 August 2021 at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, aims to evacuate nationals from France and partner countries as well as Afghans who are in danger because of their connections with France and their engagement in Afghan civil society. Since 15 August, this operation has helped nearly 100 French citizens, more than 40 nationals from partner countries and more than 1,000 Afghan nationals in need of protection.
The two ministers’ visit also provides an opportunity to thank the Emirati authorities for their support in carrying out these evacuation operations. The rotations between Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and France have been facilitated by pre-positioned French forces in the United Arab Emirates and by the agreements between our two countries. The success of this operation is tangible proof of the high-quality, high-level cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates.
The two ministers will be received by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This meeting will provide an opportunity to underline the excellence of the strategic partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates, which Emirati support for the French Operation APAGAN strongly illustrates. It will also be an occasion to share views on the situation in Afghanistan and ways to maintain regional security and stability.