Prime Minister Yanev: Cabinet decides to grant asylum to maximum 70 Afghan citizens who have worked for Bulgaria


“The cabinet took a decision to lend support and grant asylum to maximum 70 Afghan citizens who had worked at the Bulgarian Embassy in Kabul jointly with the Bulgarian troops and other Bulgarian officials on site within the EU and NATO.” The statement was made by Prime Minister Stefan Yanev after closing the regular cabinet meeting.


The Prime Minister stressed the importance of the cabinet’s decision in the context of sympathy and solidarity. “It is also important given the fact that these people have worked for our country. Now Bulgaria must be able to lend them a hand,” the Prime Minister stressed.


The Prime Minister emphasized that given the rapidly changing situation, the evacuation from Afghanistan of those Afghans and of the members of their families would be very difficult and challenging.  “However, with the logistics in place for which an interagency tool is planned, we hope to be successful and ultimately to be in a position to demonstrate the Bulgarian Government’s willingness to lend support and grant asylum to those people who have worked for it,” Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said firmly.


Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov added that today the Government decided to extend the state of emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic by three months, until 30 November 2021. The reason is the new pandemic wave that Bulgaria is entering and the recorded growing numbers of infections caused by the new virus and of hospitalizations.


Mr. Katsarov noted that the average duration of COVID-19 pandemic waves as recorded over the past year in Bulgaria and in other countries was about two and a half months. “Therefore, we believe that a three-month extension is the optimum for Bulgaria. Also, we recognize the special current political situation and the uncertainties about how long this Parliament would sit and whether it would form a future government or fail,” the Health Minister said further. To quote him, a three-month period provides a sufficient guarantee that measures will be taken to counter the pandemic adequately to the situation in the country as will be border control measures.


“The course of action in conditions of the pandemic for the schools and preschools will be made public tomorrow,” said Nikolai Denkov, Minister of Education and Science. The matter was discussed in detail with the Sectoral Tripartite Cooperation Council and received the full support from all parties in charge. “It is our duty, just as it is the duty of the Ministry of Health, to strike the right balance where there will be maximal in-person school attendance and minimal health hazards for the teachers and the pupils,” the Minister stressed.


Nikolai Denkov also said that today’s cabinet sitting took a decision to propose amendments to the Higher Education Act vis-à-vis two groups of activities. One is the possibility of joint instruction by several universities of students in non-regulated professions. The second group of activities covers the so-called project finance doctoral students who get funding under European or national projects or from businesses and who may be appointed following competitions and under an employment contract which entitles them to their salary.