The Afghan authorities’ intention to freeze deportations of rejected asylum-seekers back to their tumultuous home country for three months is “unacceptable,” Austria Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Monday.
Last week, the Afghan government urged the European nations to cease the return of Afghan refugees for three months due to a new wave of violence in the country since the withdrawal of NATO troops began in spring.
“I would also like to take this opportunity and speak about something different, namely the issues of migration and Afghanistan. While the West has brought back its troops, the West is not turning its back on Afghanistan. We have been informed that Afghanistan wants to suspend deportations for three months.
I think this is a fatal sign and it is not acceptable because we have an agreement with Afghanistan which has to be respected by both sides,” Schallenberg said ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
The European Union has provided almost 2 billion Euros to the country over the past years, the diplomat noted, accusing Afghanistan among other countries, including Belarus and Turkey, of using migration as a means of pressure against Brussels.
The Taliban terror group (banned in Russia) was emboldened by the announcement of US troop pullout in April. Militants have quickly pushed into key northern cities and overrun large swaths of land across Afghanistan.