Western Europe

Afghan migration crisis cannot be compared with Syrian in 2015, Macron says

14:24, 30 August 2021
Afghan migration crisis cannot be compared with Syrian in 2015, Macron says Photo: Sepp Spiegl/Ropi/ZUMAPRESS.com/Global Look Press

The French President has also appealed to keep vigilance over terrorism but asked not to confuse immigration with terrorism.

French President Emmanuel Macron believes that Europe should not expect a higher number of Afghan migrants compared with the influx of Syrian refugees in 2015.

“I don’t think that the upcoming situation can be compared with the one of 2015, because Afghanistan is not Syria and because there has already been a considerable flow of Afghans over the years,” said the President in an interview to TV channels TF1 and LCI.

However, the Head of State confirmed that the EU is expecting pressure on the Union’s capacity to welcome Afghan refugees due to a large number of asylum seekers.

Macron has also assured that France will keep accommodating the Afghans who were threatened by the Taliban*. Those who worked for the French government in Afghanistan or human rights activists will be prioritized.

“There are still several thousand women and men to be protected.”

The President added that the French will continue to cooperate with the Taliban on the issue without yet considering recognizing the movement.

If the Taliban want to be recognized, the French leader laid down several conditions, including respecting human rights, and especially women’s rights, protecting asylum seekers, and cutting relations with terrorist movements.

Concerning the terrorist threat, Macron has called on to stay vigilant but not to mix up terrorism with migration.

“In recent years most terrorist attacks have been carried out by individuals, not by groups functioning from abroad. We have reinforced our security and we are working with partners and countries hit by terrorism.”

The migration issue is complicated for Europe and particularly France since the country will hold presidential elections in eight months. The problem is expected to become one of the main topics of election campaigns of the candidates.

In 2015 the EU faced a huge rush of illegal migrants which was triggered by the war in Syria. The crisis resulted in a state of tension in Europe and worsened the relations among certain members of the Union.

*Taliban is a terror organization banned in the US, Russia and many other countries.