Rally in Newcastle held to welcome Afghan refugees to the North East

A rally to show Afghan refugees that they are welcome in the North-East was held in Newcastle on Saturday.

Newcastle Unites is also calling on the government to announce an amnesty for UK-based Afghan asylum seekers and make the country more welcoming for those fleeing violence. 

In resonse a Home Office spokesperson said:

“All asylum and human rights claims, including those from Afghan nationals, will be carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations. 

“No one who is at risk of persecution or serious harm in Afghanistan will be expected to return there, and enforced returns of those who have been refused asylum and have exhausted all rights of appeal are currently paused.”

“Our New Plan for Immigration will create safe and legal routes for those fleeing persecution, helping people based on genuine need, not the ability to pay people smugglers.”

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll and former Afghan refugee Syed Asadullah were among the speakers at the Monument in Newcastle.

It comes 24 hours after the UK has accepted a need for dialogue with Afghanistan's new Taliban leadership, as reports emerged detailing a number of its key Cabinet ministers.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted it will be important to have a "direct line of communication" with the new leadership, but reiterated the UK would not "recognise the Taliban as a government".