PRISTINA, Aug. 15 (Reuters) – Albania has accepted a US request to temporarily host Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Sunday as Taliban forces entered. in the Afghan capital Kabul.
Rama said that the administration of US President Joe Biden recently asked NATO member Albania to assess whether it could serve as a transit country for a number of Afghan refugees whose final destination is the United States.
“We will not say ‘No’, not just because our great allies ask us to do so, but because we are Albania,” Rama said on his Facebook account.
This week, sources told Reuters that the Biden administration has had discussions with countries like Kosovo and Albania over protecting U.S.-affiliated Afghans from Taliban retaliation until they are completing the approval process for their U.S. visas.
In Kosovo, Luan Dalipi, chief of staff to Prime Minister Albin Kurti, said his government had been in contact with US authorities to host Afghan refugees since mid-July.
“There is a lot of logistical, technical, security and social work that we manage with care,” Dalipi said in a statement.
Hundreds of American soldiers are still stationed in Kosovo as peacekeepers more than two decades after the 1998-99 war with the then Yugoslav security forces.
In 2014, Albania accepted some 3,000 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known by its Farsi name Mujahideen-e-Khalq, and they settled in a camp near Durres, the main port of the country.
Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Aleksandar Vasovic and Hugh Lawson
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