EU urged in Geneva meeting to grant asylum to all Afghans
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation on Wednesday urged the international community to grant asylum to all refugees arriving in Europe without discrimination.
According to the ministry, due to instability in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, more than 500,000 people including 70,000 Afghans have reached Europe illegally since the beginning of this year.
Some of these asylum seekers have either drowned in dangerous waters or been facing discrimination by some of the EU member states.
At the annual UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Executive Committee (EXCOM) on October 5 in Geneva, the issue of Afghan refugees was also discussed.
Hafiz Ahmad Miakhail, the refugee ministry’s press office advisor, told Pajhwok Afghan News the issue of Afghan refugees was exclusively discussed on the second day of the Geneva meeting.
At the meeting, he said, the Afghanistan delegation presented a plan demanding $500 million from the international community for the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and Iran and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He added representatives from more than 100 countries had attended the meeting and Afghanistan was represented by Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, the refugee and repatriation minister.
Miakhail said the minister in the Geneva meeting had asked the international community to give asylum to all refugees without discrimination. Iran’s interior minister and Pakistani minister on tribal affairs joined the meeting on the day three.
On the sidelines, Miakhail said, the Afghan delegation held separate meetings with Iran and Pakistani delegations on registration of illegal Afghans in their countries.
According to UNHCR, 1.6 million Afghan refugees have been registered in Pakistan and another 1.5 million are living there without documents. Since the beginning of this year, more than 139,000 refugees have repatriated to Afghanistan.
Around 900,000 legal and 1.4 million undocumented Afghans are living in Iran.
Miakhail said the Afghan delegation had also urged the UK government not to deport Afghan refugees seeking asylum in that country.
President Ashraf Ghani was expected to attend the meeting but due to recent insecurities in Kunduz, he had to cancel his visit.
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