AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: German interior minister said his country would help Afghanistan financially to reintegrate returned migrants.
Thomas de Maiziere’s remarks in a visit to Kabul on Monday were overshadowed by the latest in a series of deadly suicide bomb attacks.
“Germany, with some 850 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, would remain as long as necessary,” De Maiziere said, adding that an exodus of educated Afghans should to be prevented.
“The clear message that I want to send today is, we will stay and so the clear expectation that we have for the people of Afghanistan is stay here to build up this country.”
He acknowledged that the security situation was “complicated”, but said that most Afghans leaving for Germany were not motivated by security fears. “They want just a better life.”
“That is understandable from a human point of view but it doesn’t give them the right to protection,” he said.
The comment was made only hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the border police station in Kabul, killing at least 10 civilians and wounding 20 others.
Thousands of civilians and security forces were killed in 2015.
De Maiziere said Berlin would help in the fight against illegal immigration to persuade Afghans not to attempt to go to Germany.
The visit underlines the growing alarm in Berlin at the scale of the refugee and migrant crisis facing Germany, which took in around one million immigrants last year.
After first welcoming Syrian refugees last year, the public mood toward migrants from countries including Afghanistan has shifted, particularly after reports of widespread sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve by Arab and North African men.
Afghans made up the second largest group of refugees going to Europe last year, behind Syrians.
“We can only get support in Germany for the major engagement in Afghanistan if the German population has the firm impression that the youth and the people of Afghanistan have faith in their future,” de Maiziere said.