(DF) Parliament: Common EU Solution Should Be Sought In Connection with Situation in Afghanistan

August 18 (BTA) – It is the common understanding of the members of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament that a common solution on EU level needs to be sought for handling the situation after the latest developments in Afghanistan. At its first meeting on Wednesday, the committee gave a hearing of caretaker Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev on the situation in Afghanistan and the steps taken by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry and other state organizations for the evacuation of Bulgarians and local citizens who worked for the Bulgarian Embassy, for the EU services and NATO and in aid of Bulgarian cotangents in Afghanistan, said the parliamentary press office. No country can cope on its own in this situation so efforts should be focused on finding a common solution at an EU level, said committee chair Dimiter Gurdev after the meeting. There is no doubt that developments in Afghanistan pose a potential threat to Bulgaria from the point of view of migration waves which can pass through Iran and Turkey from where there is only one route to Europe, through the Balkans, he underscored. Participants in the meeting rallied around the opinion that Bulgaria should be proactive and assess the situation from different angles, said Gurdev. In his words, advantage should be taken of the experience which Bulgaria has in signing an agreement with Turkey in connection with the crisis in Syria. Afghans who have worked for the Bulgarian Embassy and missions as well as for EU services and NATO will be supported and can rely on Bulgaria’s help including for their evacuation from Afghanistan and for being granted asylum for which they are eligible, added Gurdev. The Foreign Minister told the committee that 18 requests for evacuation of Bulgarian citizens from Afghanistan have been submitted. So far 13 Bulgarians have been evacuated and four are located in a gated community. The problem is to ensure their safety next to the military section of Kabul Airport. A Bulgarian is working at the airport and the Bulgarians have been evacuated with his help. At this stage it is more sensible if he stays there, according to Minster Stoev. He specified that there are no Bulgarians in distress. LN/PP