By Jenny Goldsberry
President Biden met with officials from Kosovo and Albania recently in an attempt to encourage more countries to take in Afghan refugees. These negotiations to house thousand of Afghanis who helped the US during the past 20 years have been secret. Four U.S. officials confirmed the meetings to Reuters.
Already, Operation Allies Refuge reported 1,200 Afghans have been resettled in the United States. But they expect a total of 3,500.
There are 400 SIV applicants whose visas are in the final stages of processing, according to Reuters. Reports have suggested that many have arrived in recent days at the start of an evacuation effort dubbed “Operation Allies Refuge.” That operation may include as many as 50,000 people or more, Reuters reported.
Then, Biden publicly met with officials from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the matter. Yet no agreements have been struck. One official confirmed that the deal to house 8,000 Afghans in Qatar is nearly finished.
Two additional sources claimed countries are hesitating to take in the Afghans they’re concerned about COVID-19 health screenings. These screenings take place before refugees board the plane and the worry is the results will be inaccurate. The same concerns translate to security vettings.
Meanwhile, the embassies of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kosovo and Albania did not respond to Reuter’s requests for comment.
Read the full article here.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.