Doug Beattie welcomes commitment to resettle Afghan refugees in Northern Ireland

UUP leader and Afghanistan veteran Doug Beattie has welcomed confirmation that Northern Ireland will facilitate the resettlement of Afghan refugees.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:55 pm
Doug Beattie MC MLA. Picture: Arthur Allison / Pacemaker Press

Mr Beattie said he has been assured that Northern Ireland will accept “840 vulnerable Afghans” in total, with 360 expected to arrive during the next 12 months.

“I’m pleased to have confirmation from The Executive Office via an answer to an assembly question which I tabled, that Northern Ireland will play its part in the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the UK,” he said.

The Upper Bann MLA added: “The UK owes a debt of honour to those Afghans who worked with the UK and supported the British armed forces and I look forward to welcoming them to NI.”

Meanwhile, UK officials have held talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan in part to prevent the country from becoming “an incubator for terrorism”.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said Sir Simon Gass, the Prime Minister’s High Representative for Afghan Transition, and Charge d’Affaires of the UK Mission to Afghanistan in Doha Dr Martin Longden travelled to the country and met with senior members of the organisation.

A Government spokesman said: “Sir Simon and Dr Longden discussed how the UK could help Afghanistan to address the humanitarian crisis, the importance of preventing the country from becoming an incubator for terrorism, and the need for continued safe passage for those who want to leave the country. They also raised the treatment of minorities and the rights of women and girls.”