The first group of 149 Afghani nationals arrived at the International airport in Skopje late last night. Immediately upon arrival, a pregnant woman with her husband and child were transported to the University Clinic of Gynecology in Skopje for checkup while another emergency vehicle was used for transporting a person that collapsed.
The Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani, who greeted the Afghanistan nationals at the Skopje airport said that most of them are employees or associates of the Open Government Partnership – OGP international organization where North Macedonia is a official member. Also, there are persons who were either employees or associates of other international or nongovernmental organizations, along with their families.
“We share the same values of freedom, democracy, peace and equality with these people. Unfortunately, against their will, these people and their families’ safety was endangered, their lives were threatened, and that is why we decided to help them now, today, immediately i.e. when it was needed most” stressed the Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani.
He informed that a working group was formed within the Government for acceptance of these people, where all competent departments and institutions and that the whole operation for accepting the people of Afghanistan is implemented with the cooperation of our allies, the US Embassy, and the international organizations.
Minister Osmani also said that as part of the agreements reached, the expenses for accommodation will be covered by local branches of the organizations they are part of and with whom these people have worked in Afghanistan. In accordance with the decision and the government’s authorizations, the Ministry of Interior has already started a procedure for providing a temporary residence for these people.
“Just to remind you, in the forthcoming days, we are expecting the remaining groups of people to arrive, out of the initially approved 780 people for whom we already gave a green light. For all additional requests, the Government and the working group will discuss them and all decisions will be announced,” said the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani.
Otherwise, last night, the Red Cross volunteers in the Republic of North Macedonia handed over packages for each of the refugees with food, water, disinfectants, and there was an initial medical check-up and assistance to those that needed it including PCR tests.