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Quigley Statement on Afghanistan Evacuation Efforts

Aug 20, 2021
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) released a statement following a trip to Albania where Afghan refugees were due to arrive for temporary resettlement en route to the United States. Prime Minister Edi Rama reaffirmed his earlier offer for Albania to temporarily admit Afghan refugees seeking U.S. visas. Quigley had planned to greet the refugees upon their arrival to Albania, however, the flights encountered repeated delays.

Quigley’s statement is below:

“The United States is grateful to Prime Minister Rama and the people of Albania for leading the initiative to welcome Afghans into their nation. Having spent the past two days in their country, I am inspired by the Albanian people and their willingness to provide shelter to those in need. In Albania, the concept of ‘besa’ means word of honor, or to keep a promise. This country has a proud tradition of welcoming strangers, saving lives, and keeping their promises to those in need.

“The United States has a moral obligation to welcome Afghans who assisted US forces over the past two decades and who now face significant risk under Taliban rule. I am incredibly grateful to our partners and allies, like Albania, who have opened their doors to temporarily welcome refugees as we undertake this effort. During my time at the U.S. embassy in Albania, I also witnessed incredible work by the Ambassador and embassy staff, and was impressed by their dedication to aiding evacuations from Afghanistan. I had looked forward to welcoming refugees in Tirana. Unfortunately, the plane simply never arrived.

“After twenty years in their country, we owe the people of Afghanistan an expeditious departure and safe harbor on our shores.”