Afghanistan – Boris Johnson criticized for pledging support for refugees

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The British Prime Minister has announced unlimited residency for Afghan evacuees since August 13 who have worked in the UK.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the country’s armed forces headquarters on August 26.

France Press agency

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed on Wednesday to “warmly” welcome the thousands of Afghan refugees who have arrived in the UK, after he came under fire for his handling of evacuations from Afghanistan.

The government announced that Afghans who worked in the UK in their country and were evacuated to the UK would be given unlimited residency rights, which would give them the right to work and eventually apply for British citizenship. They will benefit from free access to health care, English language classes and university scholarships, as part of a government process dubbed a “warm welcome”.

8,000 Afghans have been evacuated to the UK since August 13

“We owe a huge debt to those who have served with the armed forces in Afghanistan and I am determined to give them and their families the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK,” Boris Johnson said in a statement.

The country has evacuated more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan since August 13, including more than 8,000 Afghans employed in their country by the UK as interpreters. But the government is facing a barrage of criticism over this smuggling operation, which was completed on Saturday without being able to initially evacuate all the candidates.

Discussions are underway to clear the last site

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace estimated on Friday that as many as 150 Britons and between 800 and 1,100 eligible Afghans could be evacuated.

On Sunday, the Observer newspaper quoted a State Department whistleblower that 5,000 emails sent by MPs and associations to report on cases of Afghans at risk of Taliban retaliation had not been read.

For those who remained there, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday confirmed a discussion with Afghanistan’s neighbors to facilitate their exit from the country, adding that the UK would ensure the Taliban respect their commitment to provide safe passage. He will be questioned on the matter on Wednesday by members of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

“The past two weeks have been difficult for many of us: anger, shame and even disbelief. We never thought we would see the day when NATO forces, led by the United States, would turn their backs on the Afghan people,” declared before this session the chair of this committee, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat. who served in Afghanistan. He continued: “A lot of those raw sentiments have turned into questions about the future of UK foreign policy, how will we deal with the Taliban? How will Afghanistan shape our regional strategy? How will the government hold the Taliban accountable for human rights setbacks?”

(France Press agency)

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