Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia Prepare to Shelter Fleeing Afghans

Albania is reported to be about to give refuge to some 250 Afghan civilians over the course of the next few days, North Macedonia is expecting to take in around 390 and Kosovo is also preparing to receive an unnamed number of people fleeing Afghanistan after it fell to the Taliban at the weekend.

The three countries said the refugees, whose lives are potentially in danger if they remain in Afghanistan, will be accommodated temporarily until they are transferred to the US or into third countries. None of them has so far stated their overall capacity for accepting such refugees.

Voice of America on Tuesday cited unnamed diplomatic sources as saying that some 250 civilians would be in the first group expected to arrive in Albania, primarily people who have worked with the Western alliance in Afghanistan, such as translators, cooks and other staff, along with their families.

The mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, confirmed that the first group is expected to reach Albania over the next few days on US military flights and will be accommodated in the capital Tirana in five student dormitories. He added that when hotels in city of Durres have fewer tourists, refugees might be accommodated there too.

North Macedonia initially said on Monday it was expecting some 190 Afghan civilians, but Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani said on Tuesday that a request to host an additional 200 people has been received.

"However, given that the number of flights from Kabul is significantly restricted, we cannot know for sure when these civilians will arrive in our country," Osmani told media in Skopje on Tuesday.

Authorities said that the first small group that is expected to arrive will comprise six women and children of people who were employed at the UN...

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