Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Embassy in Greece for Afghan asylum seekers

Afghanistan will open an embassy in Greece to help thousands of Afghan asylum seekers stranded while seeking a better life in Europe, the foreign ministry in Kabul said on Sunday.

The embassy, to be opened around March, will provide illegal Afghans with travel documents, mainly so they can return home.

“Afghanistan plans to open an embassy in Greece within a few months to assist illegal Afghan migrants by providing passports for them,” foreign ministry spokesperson Janan Mosazai told reporters in Kabul.

He said 50 000 Afghans enter Greece via Turkey each year, but most end up in jails or get deported.

There has been a surge in the number of Afghans leaving the war-weary country in the last five years, according to Afghanistan’s ministry of refugees.

Many never reach destination
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that in 2010, more of the world’s refugees — some 30% — came from Afghanistan than any other country, with more than three-million in 75 countries.

Most of those who leave go to Pakistan or Iran, but some borrow cash or hand over their life savings in the hope of a better life further afield.

The journey to mainland Europe can take months or even years and many never reach their destination, getting arrested and deported along the way or succumbing to other perils.

Some walk for weeks across the treacherous mountains of Iran, west of Afghanistan, towards Turkey, before crossing by land through eastern Europe, or by sea to Greece and Italy to escape a country at war for three decades. –AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed until August 30

The lawyer for the bereaved families argued that Dr Makgabo Manamela’s requests for postponements have a negative impact on the families of the deceased who seek closure

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

More top stories

ANC Free State endorses three names for Mangaung mayor

The three candidates the province has put forward are said to be Ramaphosa supporters, who will further alienate Magashule from his power base

ANC’s provincial executive committee endorses three candidates for Joburg mayor...

Sources say that the PEC gave the nod to the three names put forward by the Johannesburg regional executive committee

Covid-19 draws the bulk of health sector’s focus, at the...

Children have accounted for a relatively low number of coronavirus cases, but other facets of their healthcare and wellbeing have suffered

Phoenix killings: 22 suspects held

A total of 36 murder charges are being probed in the wake of vigilante attacks in the area during last month’s riots
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×