Budapest, August 11 (MTI) – The Afghan embassy in Budapest closed effective July 1 citing austerity reasons, online news portal hvg.hu said on Tuesday.
The website said the information had been confirmed by Hungary’s foreign ministry. The ministry 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 organisation 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 border.
Helsinki Committee programme leader on refugee affairs Gabor 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.