Tuesday, November 30

US begins hosting hundreds of visa-free Afghans in Albania


New York

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The Biden Administration he tries to rush out tens of thousands of Afghans who collaborated with his army during the twenty-year war in Afghanistan, but the first destination for many of them will not be the US This Thursday the first contingent of exiles was scheduled to arrive Afghans to Albania, one of the European countries that has offered to host part of the thousands whose visas have not yet been processed.

It was a group of three hundred Afghans, who landed in the Albanian capital, Tirana, while their application for their subsequent transfer to the US is being processed. three thousand afghans those who temporarily pass through the

European country.

Albania’s plan, which seeks to shore up its relationship with the United States and with the European Union – which it is pressing to gain entry as a member country – is to house the Afghan refugees in student residences on a university campus in Tirana, while others will go to hotels in Durres, a port city close to the capital. At the moment, images with large tents and tents could be seen to manage their arrival.

“History imposes this on us,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama told the Italian press. «We have lived through the war and our memories are fresh. If Europe has doubts about Afghanistan, it is because it does not remember history.

A delicate subject

For the US, housing the tens of thousands of Afghans is a matter of high political voltage. Their transfer to the United States, without the scrutiny of the visa granting process, concentrated in reception camps, would be another headache for Biden. Faced with an image of a plane full of Afghan refugees in the early days of the evacuation, former President Donald Trump protested to his supporters: «It should be full of Americans, America! first!”.

In addition to Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia they also volunteered to receive refugees, and at least another contingent is expected to arrive first in the next few hours. Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said Biden contacted her last month to request that she temporarily house Afghan refugees. “Without hesitation and without conditions, I have given my consent to this humanitarian operation,” he said in a message on Facebook. “No one knows better than us what it is like to be expelled and forcibly leave the country where you grew up,” he added.

All three host countries have Muslim populations. Almost all of Kosovo is Islamic, while in Albania more than the population is Muslim and in North Macedonia they are about a third of the country.

Kosovo, which is not recognized as a country by Spain and other EU countries, had the help of USA that led the NATO campaign 1999 that forced Serbia to leave the territory.

US support was decisive for Albania and North Macedonia, where refugees are also expected to land, to gain entry into NATO.

Albania has offered a similar collaboration to the US on previous occasions. For example, it hosted the People’s Organization of the Mujahideen of Iran, an opposition group of the Tehran government that fled the country in 2016, and has agreed to send former Guantanamo prisoners of Uighur origin.

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