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Most Americans support taking in Afghan refugees but oppose the Taliban, finds survey

A Year After The Withdrawal Of US Forces From Afghanistan, US Citizens Do Not Wish To Release The Country’s Funds That Were Frozen By The Country.

File photo of Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani (in the Centre wearing grey attire) | Photo: Twitter/@Zabehulah_M33

New Delhi: Fifty-six percent Americans, and an overwhelming 72 percent Democrats surveyed, would support a policy to accept refugees from Afghanistan, one year after US troops exited that country.

A study has found that 41 percent of Americans are opposed to that idea, and so are 64 percent of Republicans asked.

The 2022 Chicago Council Survey, involving 3,106 adults from all 50 US states, shows an overall positive response to refugees who have worked with the United States during the 20-year war.

Seventy-six percent of Americans supported such a policy from the US government, and 85 percent or every eight in ten Democrats were in favour of helping Afghans who supported the US during the War.

Among Republicans too, 67 percent were in favour of giving shelter to such Afghans.

According to the Chicago Council Survey, conducted 15 July to 1 August, three-quarters of US citizens supported food aid to the country undergoing a hunger crisis.

The survey said, “Three-quarters overall (73%), including large majorities of Democrats (82%), Independents (73%), and Republicans (64%), support providing food aid to the Afghan people.”

Americans still oppose the Taliban

The survey authored by Craig Kafura, Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy at the Chicago Council, however shows a particular dislike towards the ruling Taliban.

Americans across party lines do not recognise the Taliban as a legitimate government of Afghanistan, with strongest opposition coming from the Republicans. Eight in ten Americans resist legitimacy to the current “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” government, while nine in ten Democrats oppose the same.

Following the Taliban’s takeover in 2021, the United States had also frozen billions in Afghan government funds in the US.

Eight in ten Americans oppose the release of these funds — Republicans (89%) Independents (75%) and Democrats (74%).

The survey concluded: “A year after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, and 21 years after the US occupation of the country first began”, there was “broad support for taking in Afghan refugees but not for releasing frozen funds to the Taliban”.