‘Irresponsible Decision’: Turkey Says US’ Refugee Programme for Afghans Could Cause ‘Major Crisis’

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Turkey has warned that America’s new ‘Refugee Admissions Program Priority 2 (P-2)’ could result in an exodus of Afghans fleeing the insurgency-ravaged country. The new visa regime requires Afghan applicants to be in a third country to be granted a US refugee visa. Turkey already plays host to most refugees globally.

The Joe Biden administration’s proposal to resettle Afghan nationals from third countries in the US has been floated without “prior consultations” with Turkey and could lead to a “major refugee crisis” in the region, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

“The US may directly transport these people by plane,” advised the Turkish official.

Bilgic further remarked that the new US programme for Afghan refugees was tantamount to “abuse of our laws by third countries”.

The strong-worded statement by America’s North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ally comes two days after the US State Department announced its Refugee Admissions Program Priority 2 (P-2) for Afghan nationals (and their families) who have worked for the US government, US-based NGOs and American media organisations.

The new visa regime is an improvement on the already existing, 2009-era Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) initiative, which only allowed refugee visa applications from Afghans working for American missions or employed in any capacity by the US-led coalition forces.

However, only those Afghans who have managed to leave Afghanistan and…

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