Locsin: PH to accept Afghan refugees, asylum seekers only under govt to govt talks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 30) – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. said the country will only accept refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan who are covered by negotiations between the Philippine government and counterpart authorities from other countries.

"The Philippines will not accept nor listen to any proposition to accept any refugees unless it is government to government and only by their respective Foreign and Justice ministers; especially of the UK, the US and other Western countries most active in the evacuation," Locsin said in his tweet on Monday. 

The country's top diplomat said the Philippine government will not accept any asylum request from non-governmental organizations or any other non-state parties.

Malacañang earlier gave an assurance that the country is willing to accept refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan after the takeover of Taliban forces.

"Since time immemorial, the Philippines has had juris prudence even before the convention on refugees welcoming asylum seekers. Sabi nga po ng Korte Suprema (According to the Supreme Court), the Philippines will not hesitate to admit individuals fleeing their homelands because of fear of persecution," Harry Roque, the presidential spokesperson, said earlier.

Taliban regained control over Kabul almost two decades after American troops drove them from Afghanistan's capital.

US President Joe Biden maintained the evacuation deadline of all American forces in Afghanistan will be on August 31.