Kallas: Estonia can take up to 10 refugees from Afghanistan
Estonia is ready to receive up to 10 people evacuated from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Tuesday. This includes people who have cooperated with the European Union and NATO and their immediate family members.
"The chaos in Afghanistan continues to shock the democratic world," Kallas said in a statement on Tuesday.
"As a country, we want to contribute to the resolution of the humanitarian crisis that has broken out in Afghanistan. As things stand, Estonia is ready to offer refugee status to up to 10 people. Specifically, people whose lives have been threatened in their home country due to cooperation with the European Union or NATO and their immediate family members."
In addition, the government is planning to admit people who have cooperated with Mondo, a development cooperation, humanitarian aid and world education NGO, in Afghanistan.
Mondo has been working for many years to support the social development of Afghanistan in promoting women's health and girls' education. For example, thanks to their activities, nearly 120 midwives have been trained in Afghanistan.
The exact number of people for whom Estonia will be able to provide international protection will be known in the coming days.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said the security situation in Afghanistan has a direct impact on Europe and the world.
"The worse the situation of the civilian population there and the more suffering befalls them, the greater is the wave of refugees coming out of the country," Liimets said. "Afghans already rank second among asylum seekers in the European Union."
The foreign minister added that by granting international protection to evacuees from Afghanistan, Estonia is fulfilling its obligation with EU and NATO member states towards the people who helped us, and we must also continue to exert international pressure to prevent further violence and human rights abuses against the country's peaceful population.
On Sunday, the Taliban claimed victory in Afghanistan after taking over the capital Kabul, bringing to a swift end almost 20 years of a US-led coalition's presence in the country, the BBC reported. Estonia took part in the allied NATO mission for almost 18 years.
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Editor: Helen Wright