The first group of evacuees, BH citizens and their relatives from Gaza were welcomed at Sarajevo International Airport by relatives, friends and other citizens, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmedin Konaković, the Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sevlid Hurtić and the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Bosnia and Herzegovina Meshaal Ali Mohammad Abdullah Al-Attiyah and the ambassador of Palestine Rezeq Namoora, as well as the president of the Association of Palestinians in BiH Majed Maarouf.
The arrival was accompanied by numerous press teams.
According to an earlier announcement, the travel expenses of the evacuees are borne by the State of Qatar.
The Qatari ambassador stated that the evacuation of foreign nationals from the Gaza Strip is part of his country’s humanitarian efforts and its close cooperation with brotherly and friendly countries.
“Since the beginning of the tragic events on October 7, the State of Qatar has been making strong diplomatic efforts with the aim of de-escalation, opening humanitarian corridors and preventing the forced displacement of the population of the Gaza Strip. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar has warned on numerous occasions that this level of escalation will lead to a large number of victims and unprecedented destruction,” said Ambassador Meshaal Ali Mohammad Abdullah Al-Attiyah.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elmedin Konaković, said that the security checks were carried out on time, and tonight at the airport there were also technical checks on the persons who arrived and ‘the situation is completely clean’, as he added.
26 people arrived, and 11 more will arrive in the second group by another plane, Konaković also said.
He thanked BiH ambassadors and the State of Qatar and the Qatari embassies in Cairo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, IOM, who all professionally performed their tasks related to the evacuation.
“For all Bosnians and Herzegovina who report to the Embassy, make contact and go to Cairo, we have a system in place,” either they will go through the Council of Ministers or by a special decision on which I, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Subašić, have the right to issue humanitarian visas, and it was important to take this first step. We will not stop until all Bosnians and Herzegovinians and their relatives, who want to leave the Gaza Strip, arrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina – the words of Minister Konaković.
Institutional assistance is provided to all those operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina – from accommodation, psychological, economic and any other assistance. There are many great world powers that have not yet succeeded, he also said.
Minister Hurtić stated upon the group’s arrival that everything related to the procedures had been completed and that all 37 of them would initially have accommodation in Salakovac near Mostar, food, clothing and medical assistance.
Since there are a lot of children in the group, experts will examine them and talk to each child individually, he announced.
”It is important that these citizens have arrived and everything else will be easier, we will engage in full cooperation to solve all the problems they have,” said Minister Hurtić.
They share that BiH citizens are not yet allowed to leave Gaza, but they are working to get them out, he added.
Everyone was evacuated from Gaza via the Rafah crossing and flown from Egypt to Istanbul, Fena reports.