Saturday, February 16, 2019

Afghanistan's minister of refugees thanks France for restrained deportations

Afghanistan's minister for refugees and repatriations Sayed Hussein AIlemi Balkhi and the French ambassador David Martinon.

In Paris, there are around one thousand "Swedish Afghans", that is youths with Afghan citizenship who have lived 3-4 years in Sweden. If they are lucky, that is their fingerprints have not got stuck in the international register, they can seek asylum again with great chance to get "positive", that is residence permit in France. They take the chance as they consider it better to live paperless on the streets of Europe than to live on the streets of Kabul.   
For unknown reason, Sweden has a totally different politics when it comes to residence permits for Afghans that many European countries, among them France. According to the press release below, France sent back 23 voluntary returnees and 9 forced deportees during 2018. Only those who had committed crimes are sent back by force.

Earlier, the deputy minister of refugees and repatriations has denounced the inability in deporting asylumseekers from Europe. This time, it's the minister himself who made a declaration in a meeting December 23 with the French ambassador. 

The text on the  website of the ministry of refugees and repatriations goes like this in google's translation:

Minister of Refugees meeting with French ambassador: Afghanistan is not the right place for expelled refugees
Publish Date: Feb 12, 2019 Category: General
Seyed Hussein Alami Balkhi, the Minister of Refugees and Returnees, met with the French ambassador to Afghanistan David Martynon to urge that forced displacement of migrants consider the domestic situation and take on more flexibility.
The meeting, which was held on Tuesday, 23 December at the headquarters of the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, was discussed in the context of the joint management of Afghan refugees in France.
With the emphasis on providing voluntary return for Afghan refugees, the Minister of Refugees said that the internal situation in Afghanistan is not appropriate for the mandatory return of refugees. He urged France to pay attention to returning returnees in order to prevent returnees from migrating and to help reintegrate returnees.
The French ambassador to Kabul, recalling his country's goodwill for Afghan refugees, said that France, with 70 per cent of Afghan refugees, has permanently resettled to eight thousand Afghans annually, and last year only French people were forced to be fired from Afghanistan, who were committing crimes. .
He added that France is working on a voluntary return of Afghans, and to this end, each volunteer returns a thousand euros for travel expenses and a cash aid package for integration and investment in Afghanistan.
It is noteworthy that in the year 2018, 23 volunteers and 9 forced returns from France were returned to Afghanistan.

France, on the other hand, does not really have the same picture of the talk. This is how the French press release goes:

Afghanistan: Renewal of the Ambassador of France and the Minister of Refugees and Repatriates (Kaboul, 12 February 2019) 

December 12, 2019, M. David MARTINON, Ambassador of France in Afghanistan, was received by M. Sayed Hussein Alemi BALKHI, Minister of Refugees and Repatriates, in the presence of a representative from the Security Council of the embassy. 

The meeting between the ambassador of France M. David MARTINON and the Minister of Refugees and Repatriates M. Sayed Hussein Alemi BALKHI resulted in a friendly and cordial exchange. The two men discussed the excellent bilateral relationship between the two countries, including the preoccupied subject Afghan immigration. The French ambassador could develop and specify the French politics and material about receiving, asylum and integration of the Afghan population in France, but also take up the problems for the returnees.

M. BALKHI thanked France for the generosity and flexibility that it has shown. The two parties agreed on the necessity of improving the cooperation between the two countries, notably when it comes to forced deportations, in order to preserve the French model and attraction of the programme offered to Afghan citizens who want to return to Afghanistan. 

To facilitate the exchange between the two parties, the ambassador of France suggested creation of a work group composed by members from the Afghan ministry of refugees and repatriates and the French embassy in Kabul. This project has been approved and accepted by minister BALKHI.

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