Attal says France will host “thousands of Afghans”

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal assured this Wednesday that “France will welcome, as every year, several thousand Afghans” and regretted the “political instrumentalization” of Emmanuel Macron’s statements on possible “irregular migratory flows.”

France evacuated 216 people from Kabul to Abu Dhabi overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, including 184 Afghans “from civil society in need of protection” scheduled in Paris during the day. Gabriel Attal assured that France “will be there” and “will respond to its duty of solidarity and humanism.” “But it would be lying to the French not to say that we have to organize these things, at the European and international level,” he insisted on saying.

He advocated, like Emmanuel Macron on Monday, in favor of an “international initiative” for a “distribution of asylum seekers,” without specifying how many Afghans France expected to receive in the coming weeks. Gabriel Attal also declared “regretting the political instrumentalization of truncated words, of sentence fragments, that certain political leaders make” of the words of Emmanuel Macron.

The Head of State assured this Monday during a televised speech that “France is doing and will continue to fulfill its duty to protect those most threatened.” Before adding: but “we must anticipate and protect ourselves from the significant irregular migratory flows that would endanger those who use them and feed traffic of all kinds.” These statements aroused the indignation of many left-wing opposition figures and various associations. The Elysee responded by assuring that “we have nothing to be ashamed of because we are one of the countries that receives the most Afghans and that gives them the most protection.”

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Since 2018, France has received some 10,000 asylum applications from Afghans for a total of around 50,000 for all European Union countries. Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons), which has processed 8,200 cases since the beginning of the year, grants the request for protection in 64% of cases, a figure that reaches 89.9% after examination of the resources against an average of 63% for the whole of the EU, according to figures given by the French Presidency.

Emmanuel Macron himself responded to the criticism on Tuesday night in Bormes-les-Mimosas, stating: “We will all gain a lot of energy and time so that all those who spend the day commenting take eleven minutes of their time. I said.”

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