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Finland deports failed Afghan asylum seekers

AT-KABUL:  The Finnish government to deport rejected Afghan asylum seekers said the Finnish Embassy in Kabul.

The embassy on Tuesday also informed of an agreement with the Afghan government to be concluded soon regarding to the return of failed Afghan asylum seekers.

In a press statement, the embassy said that Finnish Under-Secretary of State Pirkko Hamalainen visited Kabul on Monday and Tuesday (February 21-23) to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding between Afghanistan and Finland regarding the return of Afghans who are not granted asylum in Finland.

Not everyone who comes to Finland is entitled to protection under the Refugee Convention, the Embassy said in the statement.

In his speech at the Opening of Parliament, Finnish President Satin Niinisto said that “we must help those who are in distress or being persecuted. At the moment, however, we cannot help those who are merely seeking a better life or feel that their circumstances and future are difficult in their home countries.”

In 2015, over 32,000 asylum seekers entered Finland. Among them were many nationalities, including over 5,200 Afghans. The vast majority of asylum seekers will not receive a permission to stay in Finland and they will be deported, the statement added.

An unprecedented number of migrants have also cancelled their applications and returned to their countries of origin before their cases have been reviewed.

People whose applications were refused must return to their country of habitual residence, statement said, adding that applications that appear likely to be refused will be given priority and fast-tracked.

The negotiations with Afghanistan will continue in the spring.

Finland welcomed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s assurance that Afghanistan has the responsibility to accept the return of its citizens if they have no legal right to remain in Europe. Finland hopes that an agreement on the returns will be concluded as soon as possible, the embassy said in a media statement.

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