Job ID 29947
The Tirana government has approved a request by Washington to temporarily house Afghan political refugees seeking entry to the United States. They include interpreters, fixers and other helpers to the US military.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Sunday said his country will temporarily shelter hundreds of Afghans who worked with Western peacekeeping military forces in Afghanistan.
The gesture comes amid growing concerns that NATO members aren’t doing enough to evacuate interpreters and other Afghan workers who face possible reprisals as the Taliban retake control of the war-ravaged country.
So far, about 1,200 Afghans have departed for the US and that number is set to rise to 3,500 in the coming weeks.
Washington had requested NATO member Albania to serve as a “transit place” for “a number of Afghan political emigrants who have the United States as their final destination,” Rama wrote on Facebook.
“We will not say ‘No’, not just because our great allies ask us to, but because we are Albania,” the prime minister said noting that helping those in need of protection is a tradition in Albania.
The prime minister also mentioned a request by two US charities to shelter hundreds of Afghan intellectuals and women activists who have been threatened with execution by the Taliban.
In 2014, Albania accepted some 3,000 members of the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, one of the Islamic Republic’s biggest oppositions groups.
Those refugees have settled in a camp near Durres, the country’s main port.