The embassy of Afghanistan in Budapest closed effective July 1, citing austerity reasons, the Hungarian news agency MTI quoted the online news portal hvg.hu. The website said the information had been confirmed by the Hungarian foreign ministry.
The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade suggested
that the Afghan government had trimmed its network of foreign representative
offices in order to save money. There was no response from the embassy when the
portal tried to contact it by telephone or by email. The embassy’s website is
practically not functioning anymore, hvg.hu said.
The website cited Zsuzsa Zsohar, spokeswoman of
Migration Aid, an organization working with refugees, as saying that
Afghanistan has let down its citizens by closing the Budapest embassy. The
refugees would contact the embassy when they needed documents or interpreters
and it was also the embassy’s task to issue birth or death certificates.
The refugees now have no other option but to contact
the Afghan embassy in Vienna through the Hungarian immigration office because
in most cases they have no money to phone and are not allowed to cross the
Helsinki Committee program leader on refugee affairs Gábor
Gyulai told hvg.hu that the closing down of the embassy could cause the
greatest problem to those that want to return to Afghanistan. According to the
Committee’s data, currently 5-6,000 asylum-seekers are staying in Hungary,
including 2,000 Afghan citizens.
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