Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu said that 139 Afghan citizens arrived in the country on Thursday, on board an aircraft.
“Today, most of the Afghan citizens, ‘our’ Afghans, who were evacuated by Romania from Afghanistan, have just arrived in Romania, as I told them (…). We have managed to safely bring to Bucharest 139 Afghan citizens under Romania’s protection,” the head of diplomacy declared, according to Agerpres.
They are among the 156 Afghan citizens who were evacuated from Afghanistan by the Romanian crisis cell. Minister Aurescu welcomed them when they got off the plane, at the 90th Air Transport Base. “It was a very emotional moment,” he said.
The Afghan citizens evacuated in this group are collaborators of the Romanian armed forces, students with scholarships in Romania, other vulnerable categories such as journalists, human rights activists, magistrates and their family members.
According to the minister, 17 other Afghan citizens who were supported by the Romanian authorities to safely leave Afghanistan’s territory and who received assistance from Romania chose to continue the journey by other means to their final destination and some of them will arrive within the next period in Romania.
“I told them that the Romanian authorities will do everything they can to offer these sorely tried friends of Romania decent living conditions and the chance to start over,” said Aurescu, who added. that “Afghanistan is the scene of unimaginable human tragedies.”
The Secretary of State within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Police Chief-Quaestor Bogdan Despescu, explained that among the 139 there are people who already benefit from valid temporary residence permits, namely students who have been to Romania before.
The 139 Afghan citizens will be quarantined and after the formalities are completed, their applications for international protection will be taken over and they will be accommodated in a refugee center in Galati. “After obtaining a form of protection, they can be enrolled in integration programs,” the official detailed.
Despescu specified that in Romania there are six refugee centers, which have a total of 750 places, with the possibility of supplementation and the occupancy rate of these centers currently stands at 70 percent.