The Phnom Penh Post

Guam OK as Afghan refugees’ host, but wants say


GUAM on June 13 offered to temporaril­y house thousands of Afghans being evacuated from their country as part of the US troop withdrawal, but insisted it be consulted on the planning.

In a letter to US President Joe Biden, Guam governor Lou Leon Guerrero said she needed to be certain "these decisions reflect the best interests of our people".

US troops are expected to be out of Afghanista­n by September 11 but lawmakers say it could take more than two years to process US visas for about 18,000 Afghan allies and their families.

There are fears that if they remain in Afghanista­n they will suffer retaliatio­n from the Taliban.

"I assure you that my administra­tion is prepared to assist in executing your plans on this matter should Guam be chosen," Leon Guerrero said in her letter.

"If such a decision is made, I respectful­ly ask that I be part of critical discussion­s concerning Guam's role and any related task force should one be establishe­d.

"Due to the gravity and urgency of this matter, I would like to speak with you soon."

There has been mixed reaction in Guam to the possibilit­y of again being used as an evacuation destinatio­n, after the Pacific US territory took in Vietnamese refugees in 1975 before they were resettled in the US.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cambodia