Afghans coming to Jordan will not be granted “refugee status” as they will stay for a short period before traveling to the United States, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that Jordan has agreed to the transit of 2,500 Afghan citizens through its territory on their way to the US.
Jordan allows 2,500 Afghan refugees to pass through its territory on way to US on humanitarian grounds – Jordan Foreign Ministry— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) August 23, 2021
The ministry said the decision was made for humanitarian reasons to help alleviate the repercussions of the crisis in Afghanistan.
In remarks to Arab News, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Deifallah Al-Fayez said that Jordan, under an agreement with the US, will have no commitments toward the Afghan citizens.
“The Afghan citizens will not be granted any refugee status. They will stay in Jordan for a very short time until the procedures related to their resettlement in the US are completed,” he said.
Asked whether the 2,500 Afghan citizens have arrived in the country, Al-Fayez would not comment: “All I can say is that the Afghan citizens will be sheltered in closed areas and will stay there for a very short period.”
Jordan announced today that it will accept several thousands Afghan evacuated refugees to stay in Jordan until they are processed and security vetted by the US government, a process that may take months or years. #Afghanistan— Ali Younes (@Ali_reports) August 23, 2021
Another official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the 2,500 Afghan citizens have already arrived in Jordan aboard a US military evacuation flight and have been sheltered near an air force base in the northeastern desert.
With MPs raising concerns over a new wave of refugees in the kingdom during a recent lower house session, Deputy Prime Minister Tawfiq Kreishan said Jordan will be only a temporary transit point for the 2,500 Afghan evacuees.
“They will not be resettled in Jordan and all has been arranged with the concerned sides to transport them via the Queen Alia International Airport,” Kreishan said.
The UNHCR said the issue of Afghan citizens in Jordan is not within its jurisdiction.
An official from the agency, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the “issue is only so far between the Jordanian and US governments.”
According to the UN figures, about 10 percent of Jordan’s population are refugees.
They include 655,000 Syrians, 67,000 Iraqis, 15,000 Yemenis, 6,000 Sudanese and refugees from 52 other nations.
More than 80 percent of them live outside refugee camps, in cities and towns, the UNHCR said in its latest figures.
The United Nations Population Fund says that Jordan is home to one of the largest numbers of registered refugees per capita in the world.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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