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Deportations to Afghanistan: Sigmar Gabriel demands Taliban negotiations from Scholz

Deportations to Afghanistan: Sigmar Gabriel demands Taliban negotiations from Scholz

Should we negotiate with the Taliban? According to former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel, yes – and specifically about deportations to Afghanistan. And he is not the only one to criticize Olaf Scholz in this case.

Former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel is calling on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to enter into negotiations with the Taliban, who rule Afghanistan, in order to implement his proposal to deport serious criminals. “The federal government must try to negotiate with the Taliban itself in order to make deportations to Afghanistan legally sound,” wrote Gabriel in a guest article for “Bild am Sonntag”.

“It must demand verifiable guarantees from Kabul that deportees will not be tortured or killed.” In addition, the federal government must “financially reward states that take back their compatriots when they do not have the right to stay here.”

Sigmar Gabriel calls for a turnaround in the deportation debate

After the fatal knife attack on a police officer in Mannheim, Scholz announced that he wanted to make it possible to deport serious criminals to Afghanistan and Syria again. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is currently examining this.

Former SPD leader Gabriel accused Scholz of hesitant behavior in the deportation debate. “It was high time that Olaf Scholz ushered in this change,” wrote Gabriel. “If you remember his time as Interior Senator in Hamburg, Scholz can be tough. Flaw: Even back then in Hamburg, the change came too late,” Gabriel continued. “And now the SPD had to plummet to a shameful 15 percent before the Chancellor did what he always said he would: show leadership and put the critics in his party in their place.” It is actually not difficult to understand: “Anyone who flees to us from abroad but commits crimes or even murders here loses our protection.”

Faeser focuses on threats

Faeser said in an interview broadcast on Deutschlandfunk on Sunday: “I want people to be deported to Afghanistan and Syria because it is not acceptable for dangerous people and criminals to stay here after they have served their sentence here and they still pose a threat.” When asked whether she wanted to negotiate with the Islamists, the minister replied: “It is not about establishing new contacts with regimes there. We can use some of the existing ones.” Neighbouring countries sometimes have relationships and it is important to use these to get the dangerous people back.

Since the Taliban regained power in Kabul in August 2021, there has been a ban on deportations of Afghans in Germany. Critics warn against negotiations with the Islamist Taliban, as they should not be recognized and no money should flow that could then be used to build terrorist networks in Germany. The Taliban had recently shown themselves open to cooperation in light of the deportation debate.

Union criticizes deportation plans

Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl expects the federal government to provide an overview of possible safe areas in Afghanistan and Syria by the next Interior Ministers’ Conference (IMK). “By then, the federal government must present an assessment of the situation from the Foreign Ministry in which the safe areas to which deportations can be made are defined for Afghanistan and Syria,” the CDU politician told “Bild”. The next Interior Ministers’ Conference will be in Berlin from June 19 to 21.

Thuringia’s Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) criticized the Foreign Office for its security assessments for both countries. “It is completely incomprehensible to me that the Foreign Office is still preventing all deportations of criminals and dangerous people to Syria and Afghanistan with its security assessment,” he told “Bild”.

Scholz’s announcement was met with doubt in the Union. “I really hope that it will happen, but I don’t believe it yet. The Chancellor had already announced in October in the “Spiegel” that deportations would take place “on a large scale,” CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann told ntv.de. “If I were Scholz, I would get on a plane tomorrow, fly to Sweden and find out how they do it.” Sweden would have deported several criminals to Afghanistan in 2023.

Söder calls for stricter rules

CSU leader Markus Söder expressed similar views. He feared that the Chancellor’s words were due to the election campaign, he told broadcaster Welt TV on Friday with a view to the European elections. A government statement would not help as long as the Greens did not move.

Söder called for the abolition of subsidiary protection for refugees from Afghanistan and Syria. “The problem is that many people coming from Afghanistan and Syria no longer receive an individual asylum procedure, but are given a kind of blank check. The so-called subsidiary protection,” Söder criticized. “That means that practically everyone who comes there is classified as being persecuted. I think that’s a mistake.”

Persons who can demonstrate compelling reasons that they are at risk of serious harm in their country of origin and are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their country of origin because of the threat are considered to be entitled to subsidiary protection.

Source: Stern

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