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18 Aug, 2021 14:56

EU should take in Afghan refugees and protect those who could fall victim to Taliban ‘revenge’, parliament chief says

EU should take in Afghan refugees and protect those who could fall victim to Taliban ‘revenge’, parliament chief says

The president of the European Parliament has said that the EU must acknowledge its duty to take in Afghans and grant safety to those at risk of becoming victims of “revenge” attacks from Taliban militants.

Speaking to reporters in the Lithuanian capital on Wednesday, EU Parliament President David Sassoli stated that the bloc should do its utmost to protect Afghan people from those seeking refuge.

“We have a responsibility. I think that [the] European Commission can authorize [the] even distribution of them among the member states to keep a parity, and this can be done quickly,” Sassoli continued.

He added that the bloc “must protect those who worked and cooperated with us, [and] cannot allow them to be left to face revenge”.

Also on rt.com Greece dismisses any chance of becoming ‘EU gateway’ for Afghan refugees amid Taliban crisis

Sassoli’s remarks come after Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Tuesday that “nobody is going to be treated with revenge”, and that everyone who had worked against the insurgent group has been pardoned “for the benefit of stability or peace in Afghanistan”. Mujahid’s statement followed numerous reports of reprisals by Taliban fighters as the group strengthened its hold across Afghanistan in recent weeks.

Despite enthusiasm from the EU parliament’s president, a slew of member state governments have already expressed their discontent at the prospect of responding to another migrant crisis.

Greece’s Minister for Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi rebuked any ideas of that country serving as a point of entry for Afghan refugees on Tuesday, just days after Czechia’s government said it would not make “blanket exceptions” for suspending deportations despite recent developments in Afghanistan.

Also on rt.com EU member states urge Brussels to send refugees back to war-torn Afghanistan

Greece, alongside Austria, Denmark and Belgium, implored Brussels to “guarantee the forced return of certain Afghans” earlier in August, expressing that halting deportations could motivate an influx of people to flock to the EU. While Germany and the Netherlands were also among the signatories, the two countries subsequently decided to issue a freeze on repatriations.

A senior EU official estimated last week that around 400,000 Afghans have already been internally displaced due to the ongoing conflict with the Taliban.

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