Interior minister: Supporting illegal Afghan refugees impossible

Tehran, Oct 7, IRNA – Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said that Iran currently shoulders the heavy burden of supporting illegal Afghan refugees and nationals but it cannot continue the same in the long term.

In a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres which took place on the sidelines of the 66th session of the Executive Committee (ExCom) in Geneva, he stressed the need for making arrangements for implementation of the international community and relevant institutes’ commitments to contribute to sustainable repatriation of the Afghans to their country.

He said adopting suitable measures to ensure security in the region, Afghanistan in particular, is indispensable.

Referring to direct link between insecurity and migration, the minister called for continuous, integrated and long-term measures to help establish peace and security.

Rahman-Fazli also pointed to Mina catastrophe which left several thousand Muslims performing Hajj pilgrimage killed, saying that the tragic event has been associated with imprudence and mismanagement.

He further noted that Islamic World and international community should show necessary sensitivity towards the Mina incident near the Saudi city of Mecca.

The Iranian minister said that patrons of the extremist and terrorist groups should stop backing the groups, adding that while few countries such as Iran are paying large sums in aid for refugees, certain countries across the world are supporting the terrorists.

Guterres, for his part, condoled death of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in Mina incidnet, appreciating the country for its generous moves regarding refugees, despite meager aid by the UNHCR.

He also voiced the UN agency’s readiness to cooperate with Iran for implementing joint programs and offer services to the refugees.

The final solution for repatriation of the Afghans is to provide housing for them, he said, noting that the issue tops the UNHCR’s priorities.

ExCom meeting opened in Geneva on October 5 and will continue until October 9.

By IRNA