Albania is a beacon of hope for Afghan migrants, providing a safe sanctuary.

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Albania is a beacon of hope for Afghan migrants, providing a safe sanctuary.

Albania, a little Balkan enclave with a population of less than 3 million people, has once again demonstrated to the rest of the world what it means to provide a safe refuge for men, women, and children fleeing violence and repression.

The Albanian prime minister, Edi Rama, has welcomed a group of 300 Afghan academics and women activists who were facing Taliban execution. He has volunteered to serve as a transit camp for hundreds of Afghans and their families who worked for Western peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan.

The government of Tirana has agreed to the Biden administration’s proposal to provide a home for Afghan interpreters and others who assisted US forces and see America as their final destination. Rama stated that helping the poor is a tradition in Albania, and that he was delighted to comply with Washington’s request “not just because our great allies want us to, but because we are Albania.” The 300 Afghan refugees who have arrived in Albania are staying in hotels along the Adriatic coast and on university campuses in Tirana.

Albania’s readiness to speak out comes at a time when there is growing worry that NATO allies aren’t doing enough to protect Afghans who are afraid of Taliban retaliation. Iran has closed its borders, despite previously agreeing to accept thousands of Afghan refugees, while Turkey has built a 10-foot-high wall along its border with Iran to dissuade any Afghans who have made the weeks-long journey through Iran to the Turkish border.

Negotiations between the United States and Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan appear to have failed, however plans to accommodate over 8,000 Afghan refugees in Qatar appear to be nearing completion. The United States is sending 1,000 officials to Qatar to expedite the processing of special immigrant visa applications.

Meanwhile, the European Union is prepared to prevent large-scale entry of Afghan migrants into Europe, amid fears of a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis, when over one million individuals, mostly from the Middle East, arrived on the continent. As the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan unfolded, EU home-affairs ministers met in Brussels for an emergency meeting and pledged to work together “to avoid the recurrence of uncontrolled, large-scale, illegal migrant movements… Article Summary from Nokia News

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