After many delays the first group of refugees fleeing the Taliban after their takeover of Kabul arrived in Albania in the early morning of Friday leaving behind three explosions taking the lives of more than 100 people among whom about 15 US militaries.
121 men, women and children were subject to the mandatory security and medical checks at Tirana's airport before heading to their temporary residences set up at several hotels in the city of Durres.
Calling the arrival of the first refugees an emotional moment, Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka stated that Albania has accepted to temporarily shelter around 4.000 Afghans, while their documents get processed for their final destination, the US.
PM Edi Rama paid a visit asking them to learn Albanian.
The cities of Tirana, Durres and Berat are where the Afghan refugees will be temporarily provided shelter, before heading to their final destination, the US.
A law provides for 1-year shelter of them in Albania and a special task force is managing their accommodation.
Kosovo is also engaged in this initiative and is currently expecting around 2.000 refugees from Afghanistan, expected to stay for the duration of a year.
Both countries say they carry out such an act as they feel much indebted to the US for what it has done for Kosovo people saving them from the Serb genocide.
In the meantime Albania have signed a declaration made by the European Union and signed by various countries including the US, the UK, Canada, North Macedonia, Australia and other countries appealing that
Afghan women and girls, as all Afghan people, deserve to live in safety, security, and dignity.
"Any form of discrimination and abuse should be prevented. We in the international community stand ready to assist them with humanitarian aid and support, to ensure that their voices can be heard," said the declaration signed by Albania as other groups of refugees are expected to arrive in Tirana. / argumentum.al