Chancellor refuses to allow more Afghans into country

He said as long as he remains chancellor, his country will not open its borders voluntarily to more Afghan refugees, and he urged those wishing to leave their homeland to seek refuge in countries close to Afghanistan.

POLITIKA English 2021. AUGUSZTUS 23. 13:55

Austria will not open its borders to Afghan refugees, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has stressed, urging those wishing to leave Afghanistan to seek refuge in nearby countries, such as Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan, where only a dozen Afghans applied for asylum by 2020, according to UNHCR statistics. He added that, comparison, Austria has admitted some 40,000 immigrants.

Austria has already made a “disproportionately large contribution”, Mr Kurz told Puls24, referring to the fact that the country received a number of migrants equalling more than 1% of the country’s population during the 2015 migrant crisis. He also emphasized that the Afghan asylum seekers are “particularly difficult” to integrate into the Austrian society.

Statistics show that Austria has the second largest number of Afghan asylum seekers in the EU. Earlier, the country had suggested that the EU enter into agreements with Afghanistan’s neighbours on setting up migrant camps.