Voluntary return

Afghan asylum-seekers Voluntary return

A special flight to Kabul has returned 125 Afghan citizens required to leave Germany. Voluntary return is a very important issue. Returnees can help rebuild Afghanistan, said Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.

Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (at right) in Kabul, Afghanistan.

At the start of February Thomas de Maizière agreed with President Ashraf Ghani that a special flight would be organised for Afghan returnees

Photo: Bundesinnenministerium/dpa

At the start of February, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière agreed with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and the country’s National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar to organise a special flight to Kabul for the voluntary repatriation of Afghan citizens required to leave Germany. Both sides wanted to send a clear signal that Afghanistan is willing to readmit returnees.

"These people wish to return to their home country voluntarily to rebuild a livelihood and create new prospects," declared the Federal Interior Minister.

Their voluntary return thus helps in the vitally important task of rebuilding Afghanistan. "The German government will continue to provide active support here, thus avoiding the need for the state to enforce deportation orders."

Germany’s long-standing engagement in Afghanistan is to enable the Afghan people to rebuild their own society through help towards self-help. This is also a key to effectively addressing the root causes of migration, stressed Thomas de Maizière.

In the meantime Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have initiated talks with other countries in an effort to improve cooperation on the readmission of unsuccessful asylum-seekers. Where unsuccessful asylum-seekers have no valid passports, for instance, the aim is to get these countries to accept EU-issued "laissez passer" papers as a substitute.

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