US Senior Official Apologizes To Afghans Stuck in UAE

A senior US diplomat on Friday apologized to the thousands of Afghans who were evacuated from Afghanistan but stranded in the UAE for months, promising to speed up repatriation for some to the US.

The senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to a group of journalists at the US embassy in Abu Dhabi, said he informed the Afghans that they “are working very hard to get the system going.”

“I was really sorry it was taking so long and I was as frustrated as they were, frankly,” the senior US official said.

The visit comes when hundreds of Afghans were evacuated by the US forces during the last days of withdrawal from Afghanistan, while ending its 20 years military involvement in the country.

“The problem is nobody knows what’s going on,” said Ahmad Shah Mohibi, the founder of a group called Rise to Peace, which has been trying to help Afghans stuck there. “The US has a moral obligation” to help them.

According to Mohibi, around 12,000 Afghans remain stuck in Abu Dhabi, with some 10,000 at Emirates Humanitarian City and another 2,000 at Tasameem Workers City in the capital.

Journalists, judges, prosecutors, LGBT rights activists and religious and ethnic minorities are among the Afghans who are currently in camps in the UAE, awaiting US evacuation.

Mohib also said that eight US citizens are also among the stranded Afghans, who don’t want to leave their family members who don’t have visas.

Evacuation process from UAE was active until November, but then suddenly stopped, leaving the thousands stranded in Abu Dhabi without any clear route out.

Moreover, there are tens of thousands Afghans who are in Afghanistan and still waiting for evacuation.

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