FM: Iran Will Help Refugees inside Afghanistan but Keep Border Sealed
Iran will facilitate relief for Afghan refugees on the other side of its border with Afghanistan but prevent any more from entering its territory, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said Sunday.
Asked if Iran would reopen the border to refugees from Afghanistan, Kharazi replied: "No, but we will help those poor people inside Afghanistan, very close to our border."
Kharazi, following talks here with Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa, said: "We have prepared facilities to establish camps inside Afghanistan with the help of the UNHCR," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
"We will rush to them with help with all the facilities," he told reporters. "We have already more than two million [Afghan] refugees, I think that is enough for us."
Around 300,000 refugees, according to the UNHCR, could reach the Iranian border in case of a US attack against Afghanistan, which shelters Osama bin Laden, the main suspect in the September 11 attacks on the United States.
The UNHCR has said 11 refugee camps are planned along the 900-kilometer border, four more than previously announced -- CAIRO (AFP)