West tries to take in Afghans but may find itself turning them ...

World

West tries to take in Afghans but may find itself turning them away

More of the distressed population want to leave, and few countries will want them

Peter Apps

As G7 leaders discussed ways to get as many people as possible out of Afghanistan this week, the EU and Nato nations most likely to receive Afghans – Greece and Turkey – were building border walls to keep them out.

Heart-rending scenes at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport have grabbed headlines, but in some ways they mask a bigger picture. Those thronging to the airport in the hope of evacuation having worked with Western forces may be the most at risk, but those with a credible chance of getting foreign residency are in some respects the lucky ones.

The G7 virtual meeting of leaders on Tuesday faced a fundamental reality – that Western operations at the airport remain dependent on the Taliban, effectively allowing them to dictate who gets out. But it largely ignored another – that more of Afghanistan’s 39 million population may want to leave, and few countries will want them...

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