PN urges government to seek EU assistance over expected influx of Afghan refugees

The Nationalist Party expresses concern over human rights abuses in Afghanistan and urges government to be prepared for Afghan refugee influx

The Taliban entered Kabul unopposed on Sunday after the country's president fled
The Taliban entered Kabul unopposed on Sunday after the country's president fled

The Nationalist Party has called on the government to ask for European assistance in the wake of an expected influx of refugees after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.  

PN spokespersons Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Roselyn Borg Knight expressed solidarity with the Afghan people in the face of this week’s “tragic” developments.

However, while calling on the international community to coordinate its response to developments in Afghanistan, the PN appealed to the Maltese government to be prepared for any influx of refugees.

“We appeal to the government to have a clear plan in the case we experience an increase in the number of refugees by calling for immediate European assistance before it is too late,” the spokespersons said.

They called for international diplomatic efforts to ensure the transition period in Afghanistan is characterised by peace, security and stability.

The spokespersons said it was crucial that the full and equal participation of women and other minority groups in Afghanistan continues to be practiced in the educational, political and social fields. They expressed concern at reports of human rights abuses in the country.

The Taliban are in control of Afghanistan after taking over the capital Kabul on Sunday. The group made a rapid comeback on the back of the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Taliban takeover comes 20 years after they were ousted from power by a US-led military coalition.

Monday saw chaotic scenes at Kabul airport as foreigners and Afghan citizens attempted to flee the country.

The US and other foreign nations are evacuating their citizens, diplomatic staff and Afghans who helped the coalition forces over the past two decades and who may be at risk of reprisals.

EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an emergency video conference on Tuesday, following an ambassadors’ meeting on Monday that focused on the evacuation of EU citizens and local Afghan staff. 

“Afghanistan stands at a crossroad,” High Representative Josep Borrell tweeted. “Security and wellbeing of its citizens, as well as international security are at play.”

Human rights groups have argued that Brussels should be doing more. Amnesty International called on the EU to “ensure safe passage out of Afghanistan for all at risk,” listing “emergency visas” as well as evacuations, “relocation and resettlement” and suspending “all deportations and forced returns” as necessary steps.

But concerns have been raised by some EU countries over the expected influx of migrants from Afghanistan in what some believe could be a repeat of the migration crisis of 2015.

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