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Canada Agrees To Settle Hundreds Of Afghans Held In U.A.E.

Afghans attend a protest in February over the lengthy U.S. relocation process at a facility where they have been housed since fleeing their homeland in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Canadian government has agreed to take in around 1,000 Afghans who have been living for almost a year in a refugee center in the United Arab Emirates after fleeing their country following the Taliban's takeover in August 2021.

Quoting seven sources, the Reuters news agency said Ottawa agreed to take the refugees, who were waiting to be resettled in the United States, and are now reviewing cases to identify those who meet Canadian resettlement criteria in what is the first known instance of Afghans moving from the center to a country where they have no direct ties.

Canada's criteria for resettlement of those from the facility include religious minorities, single women, civil servants, social activists, and journalists, the sources told Reuters.

The resettlement is expected to begin next month and could also include another 500 refugees at the center who have ties to Canada, the sources said.

Asked about the arrangement, the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi shared an immigration department statement saying Ottawa's priority was to support vulnerable Afghans getting to Canada.

Based on reporting by Reuters