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EU urges member states to welcome Afghan refugees

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Visiting Spain at the reception center for Afghan EU employees in Kabul, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday called on European countries to welcome Afghan refugees.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, urged on Saturday August 21 all countries, primarily European countries, to welcome some of the Afghan refugees exfiltrated from Kabul. She also assured the EU Member States that will provide financial support from Europe.

“I call on all the states that took part in the missions in Afghanistan, Europeans and others, to grant sufficient reception quotas (…) so that collectively, we can come to the aid of those in need of protection “said Ursula von der Leyen after a visit to Spain at the reception center for Afghan EU employees in Kabul.

“The Commission is ready to consider the necessary budgetary means to support EU Member States who will offer to help refugees settle on their territory,” she continued at a press conference on the Torrejón de Ardoz military base, in the north-east of Madrid, where this reception center has been set up.

It is not yet clear how many EU member countries have pledged to welcome Afghan refugees on their soil and whether some governments have refused.

Accompanied by the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, had previously visited the facilities made available to refugees on this base, where all the Afghans who worked in Kabul for the institutions must pass through. of the EU and their families, before being then distributed to different countries to start a new life there.

In an allusion to the very sensitive nature of this subject in the Europe of 27, Charles Michel for his part admitted that immigration was a “difficult issue in the European Union” and pleaded for the establishment of “migrations regular, ordered “.

“No political dialogue” with the Taliban

Asked about relations between the EU and the Taliban, who now control most of Afghanistan, the President of the European Commission also insisted that, if there were indeed “operational contacts” with them on the ground to “save lives”, there was “no political dialogue” with this movement and therefore “no recognition of the Taliban”.

For his part, the Spanish Prime Minister indicated that a certain number of Afghans who arrived in recent days in this center in Torrejón de Ardoz, with a capacity of “800 people”, had already left for others. countries, in particular “Denmark and some in the Baltic countries”, but without providing precise figures.

Two new planes were expected Saturday in Spain with, in the first, Afghan employees of the EU and their families and, in the second, people who worked for Spain, as well as “some Americans”.

For a week now, Western countries have been trying to evacuate from Kabul, through the airport in the Afghan capital held by American forces, their nationals, but also thousands of Afghans who want to flee a country now in the hands of the Taliban .

With AFP

France 24 Europe Fr Trans

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