The government of Afghanistan has agreed to a mechanism for cooperation with Germany on how the European country could deport refugees whose asylum request has been rejected.
Officials in Berlin said Sunday that they signed a joint declaration with Kabul that enables Germany to deport refugees to Kabul or facilitate their voluntary return.
Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the agreement provides a “clear and reliable basis” for the return of Afghan refugees, adding that it could also help increase the acceptance of Afghan asylum seekers in Germany.
De Maiziere would not elaborate on further details about the agreement.
Germany has taken in around 900,000 refugees. The country has taken in the highest number of asylum seekers from Afghanistan compared to other European nations. However, increasing demands on the government for a curb on the number of refugees and attacks by suspected refugees on citizens and security forces have forced Berlin to seek ways to dissuade more refugees from entering the country.
In an interview published earlier on Sunday, De Maiziere called for the return of asylum seekers to Greece as the first EU country they normally reach, saying the European Union’s Dublin Convention should be implemented regardless of objections by Athens.
The anti-refugee sentiments have also affected the public support for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party which has experienced defeats in recent state elections across the country. Many say Merkel’s welcoming approach to refugees should be blamed for the drop in support for the party, urging the chancellor to impose stricter controls on the refugee arrivals.