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MoFA decries Afghan refugees’ deportation from EU

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Afghanistan on Monday said the government would not accept forced deportation of Afghan asylum seekers from the European Union (EU) countries, including Germany and Norway. The ministry said that Kabul and Berlin had no agreement on asylum seekers.

According to the foreign ministry, this year 146,000 Afghans reached the EU out of whom 80,000 are in Germany. The ministers of foreign affairs and refugees and repatriation told the Wolesi Jirga that most of the asylum seekers are living in Germany.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani, said that Kabul is against the forced deportation of Afghans. “We will not accept any kind of forced deportation of the immigrants,” he said, adding that until it was coordinated with the Afghan government.

He said that Afghan officials in separate meetings with concerned authorities of Germany and other EU countries and international organizations including UNHCR has asked the host countries not to deport Afghan asylum seekers, said Rabbani.

Foreign affairs minister termed increasing insecurity, unemployment, publicity for better living condition by the human traffickers and poverty as key factors behind mass immigration, adding that Germany has accepted more than 43,000 Afghan asylum seekers and deported only seven immigrants.

“Kabul is supporting voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees, but some of the European countries have adopted discriminative approach based on their internal condition. Decisions of such countries are unacceptable to us,” said Rabbani while warning against forced and mass deportation.

Rabbani overruled differences between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation on the policies pertinent to asylum seekers.

Regarding foreign policy of the government, he said that it has been drafted and would be finalized within next two weeks and send to the Wolesi Jirga for approval.

Afghans will continue to seek asylum in the industrial countries until security has been restored in the country, said Minister of Refugee and Repatriation, Sayed Hussain Aalemi Balkhi.

He also echoed the words of Rabbani, saying that Kabul would not accept forced deportation or without signing any agreements, fearing that it would create unemployment and security challenges in the country.

“There are already 1.2 million internally displaced people in the country. If Afghan asylum seekers were deported then it will create security challenges. The Taliban and Daesh will find more recruits as some of Afghan refugees were recruited for Syrian war,” Balkhi expressed his concerns.

Responding to a question Balkhi said that 78 Afghan illegal immigrants were killed near borders of Iran, Turkey, Greece, Austria and Bulgaria.

The percentage of forced deportation has decreased to 75 percent in the current year as a result of 103 meetings with European countries and international organizations, he said, adding that 920 persons were deported in 2013, around 962 were deported in 2014 and 229 persons were deported in 2015.

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