Pristina & Washington agreeing on relocation of Afghans since July

Source: Reuters/Stringer

The US demand that Kosovo accept the local Afghan workers who cooperated with the Americans and their families was sent to Pristina in July, and the two sides were discussing the details of the relocation of those fleeing the Taliban rule, N1 reported.

Kosovo officials said it was still unknown how many Afghan refugees would come and where would they be located, but President Vjosa Osmani confirmed she approved that humanitarian operation.

“Without hesitation and any condition, I gave consent to such a humanitarian operation based on a human principle of open doors to those forced to leave home to save lives,” she said.

Osmani added that Kosovo respected international laws and its obligation to accept refugees. She also said that Kosovo had “to stand by its US friends, as they have always stood by us both in good and evil.”

Some security experts ask if the acceptance of the refugees will threaten the safety in Kosovo.

But Shpat Balaj of Kosovo’s Centre for Security Studies (KCBS) said the Afgan would be subjected to thorough checking.

“The decision to accept the Afghan refugees is a good act, not only as a humanitarian move, but it also reaffirms Kosovo’s strategic positioning with NATO allies. As far as safety is concerned, I think Kosovo has proved it has capacities to offer wellbeing and security to foreigners,” he said.

He added he disagreed the refugees could endanger Kosovo since they “come in an organised manner. Most of them worked with NATO, and the Alliance verifies them.”

Besides Kosovo, Albania, according to the media, has already agreed to accept the first group of 250 refugees, including interpreters, activists and intellectuals.

North Macedonia will also take in Afghans fleeing the Taliban rule. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Skopje would provide hotel accommodation which the US would pay for until the refugees’ final destination was decided.