Minister of Foreign Relations Erika Mouynes. MIRE photo.
Panama on today’s world scene:
our Afghanistan policy
Panama is a small country, which is formally neutral in many things. We have a history of taking in high-profile former heads of state fleeing political changes, mostly from Latin American and Caribbean countries, in the interests of preserving peace in the region. At the moment, however, our international assistance focus is as a relief flight hub and warehouse for Haiti earthquake assistance. We also have migration issues with Colombia and the United States in particular — people from third countries coming across our land border with Colombia in hopes of making it to the USA.
The official policy is a correct and humane processing of those who show up seeking refugee status. However in the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) there is a major anti-immigrant faction which, along with Panama’s limited resources, will prevent us from taking in a great many Afghan refugees. History suggests that we will accept a few.
Meanwhile, Panama has joined with many other nations in issuing two brief but important declarations regarding the change of government in Afghanistan.
Joint statement on Afghanistan
August 15, along with more than 100 other countries
Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call on all parties to respect and facilitate, the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country. Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility—and accountability—for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order.
Afghans and international citizens who wish to depart must be allowed to do so; roads, airports and border crossing must remain open, and calm must be maintained.
The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them.
Joint statement on the situation of Afghan women and girls
August 18, along with 21 other countries and the European Union
We are deeply worried about Afghan women and girls, their rights to education, work and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection.
Afghan women and girls, as all Afghan people, deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. Any form of discrimination and abuse should be prevented. We in the international community stand ready to assist them with humanitarian aid and support, to ensure that their voices can be heard.
We will monitor closely how any future government ensures rights and freedoms that have become an integral part of the life of women and girls in Afghanistan during the last twenty years.
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