US Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim said that the exact number of Afghan refugees expected to arrive in Albania is not yet known due to the uncertain and unstable situation in Afghanistan.
Earlier today, Kim met with Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka to discuss the situation.
She underlined that the Afghans refugees will be hosted in Albania temporarily, as they await visas to the US. She added that thousands of refugees have already been sent directly to the US.
Ambassador Kim expressed her gratitude to the Albania government for responding quickly to US and NATO requests to host Afghan refugees and offer them temporary housing.
While the first group of some 300 Afghans refugees was expected today, their arrival has been postponed. They will be accommodated in several hotels in the city of Durrës and in the Student Dormitories of the University of Tirana.
The group will include interpreters and various collaborators who have worked with the US presence in Afghanistan. They will be provided shelter along with their families.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama told the Guardian that “Albania can’t solve the problem but we also don’t want to be part of it,” adding that he could not understand “how richer countries can turn their backs.”
Albania is one of 61 countries to sign a joint statement calling “all parties to respect and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country.”
Apart from Albania, Kosovo has also confirmed the decision to serve as a transitional place for Afghan refugees headed to the US.