Austrian chancellor says he’s against taking in more Afghan refugees

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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was against accepting any additional refugees from Afghanistan even as many EU nations rush to evacuate vulnerable Afghans from the country.

“We have taken in over 40,000 Afghans in Austria in the last few years and beyond. We are one of the countries with the largest Afghan community,” Kurz told Austrian broadcaster Puls24 in an interview released on Sunday.

He went on to say this meant Austria had “already made a disproportionately large contribution” to relocating Afghans and had one of the largest Afghan communities in the world.

He added in a tweet that “there are still big problems with the integration and we are therefore against an additional inclusion.”

His comments come as many European countries are rushing to evacuate Afghans who worked with embassies and other vulnerable Afghans.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged EU countries recently to take in Afghan civilians, stating it was a “moral duty” to help.

But many EU countries are concerned that the security situation in Afghanistan will lead to a migrant crisis similar to 2015 when more than one million migrants arrived in Europe. That crisis was fuelled in part by the Syrian Civil War.

Kurz added in a series of tweets that EU nations must not repeat the “mistakes” of 2015.

“The events in Afghanistan are dramatic, but we must not repeat the mistakes of 2015. The people from #Afghanistan should be helped in neighbouring states. The #EU must secure the external borders and fight illegal migration and people smugglers,” Kurz tweeted.

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