The Government of Kosovo on Monday evening (August 16) approved the request of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for granting temporary and immediate protection to persons at risk of internal conflict in Afghanistan, who are in the process of applying for migration visas in the United States.
The United States has asked Kosovo and Albania to accept some Afghan workers who have worked with foreign forces in the country but now feel insecure as the country has come under Taliban control.
“The government deems it necessary to provide temporary and immediate protection to persons at risk of internal conflict in Afghanistan. These persons will be subject to the verification process by the relevant security institutions in case of need and for the purpose of national security.” , it is said in the announcement of the Government.
It is not yet known how many Afghans will be housed in Kosovo until US visa procedures are completed.
Earlier, a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Pristina confirmed to Radio Free Europe that US authorities were negotiating with Kosovo on the issue.
“We can confirm that the US Government is in talks with the Kosovo Government on how Kosovo can assist US partners in Afghanistan. “For now, we can not give you more details,” the response said.
On Sunday, August 15, the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, stated that on July 16, he was contacted by the US Ambassador to Pristina, Philip Kosnett, who forwarded the request of President Joe Biden, that Kosovo temporarily shelter Afghan civilians, request which she said she accepted “without any hesitation”. She said that “Kosovo respects international law and the obligation deriving from it not to close the door to refugees.”
President Osmani said that the Government of Kosovo has formed a working group that will deal with organizational issues, in cooperation with American partners.
United States officials have welcomed Kosovo’s decision.
The US State Department said Kosovo has joined calls for the safe evacuation of people from Afghanistan.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden said the operation to oust US personnel and Afghan workers was ongoing and had sent a message to the Taliban that if they disrupted the operation they would face swift and harsh responses.
The Taliban have said Afghanistan is in complete control after they took over the presidential palace on August 15, just hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Islamic militants met no resistance until they regained control, two decades after being overthrown by US-led foreign forces. Chaotic scenes erupted at Kabul airport on Monday as hundreds of people tried to flee the country. / REL