Internal Security: Deportation debate: Should we negotiate with the Taliban?

Internal Security: Deportation debate: Should we negotiate with the Taliban?
Internal Security: Deportation debate: Should we negotiate with the Taliban?

How can Afghan deportation candidates who are serious criminals be deported without direct contact with the Islamist Taliban rulers? One way could now be via a neighboring country.

In the debate about deporting criminals, Brandenburg’s Interior Minister Michael Stübgen is calling on the federal government to quickly advance negotiations with Syria and also with the Taliban, who are ruling in Afghanistan. “I like to hear announcements, but now they finally have to be implemented and facts really have to follow,” said the CDU politician and chairman of the Conference of Interior Ministers (IMK) to the German Press Agency in Potsdam.

He considers negotiations with the Islamist Taliban to be justifiable. However, according to a report in “Spiegel”, the Federal Ministry of the Interior is negotiating with Uzbekistan about deporting Afghans from Germany without direct agreements with the Taliban.

The Conference of Interior Ministers will be discussing the course of asylum policy at its upcoming meetings (19 to 21 June) in Potsdam. The fatal knife attack by an Afghan in Mannheim, in which a police officer died, is likely to have a major impact on the meeting. As a result of the attack, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced that he wanted to allow the deportation of serious criminals to Afghanistan and Syria again. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is looking into it. Stübgen expects agreement among the interior ministers on the subject of deportations.

Stübgen: Security in Syria has improved

The IMK chairman said that the federal government must now move forward and establish diplomatic relations with Syria in order to be able to deport the most serious criminals. An embassy could be set up there. Some European countries have also long since established diplomatic relations with Damascus. “And it has long been known that there is no longer a war in the heartland of Syria.” Even if Syria is not a constitutional state, there are state regulatory structures. “There is nothing to prevent us from starting to return serious and repeat offenders there, like Sweden, for example,” said Stübgen. Security there has improved.

The CDU politician believes that the subsidiary protection for people from Syria that has been in place since the beginning of the Syrian war needs to be reviewed. Subsidiary protection applies to people who are not recognized as refugees but who provide compelling reasons why they would face serious harm – such as human rights violations – if they returned to their country of origin.

No concerns about contacts with Taliban

Stübgen also has no reservations about negotiations with the Taliban about deporting Afghans who have committed serious crimes. Negotiations are already underway with the Taliban, “specifically about allowing certain people to leave Afghanistan.” There are also international aid programs for the population, for example, to provide food. “That means there are a wide variety of contacts. And these contacts, and that is my demand, can also be used to repatriate serious criminals.” According to Stübgen, these will probably be isolated cases.

Since the Taliban regained power in Kabul in August 2021, there has been a deportation ban for Afghans in Germany. Humanitarian aid is supported through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, the ministry says it is not negotiating with the Taliban and is not making any financial commitments.

Stübgen believes that quid pro quos are normal when it comes to readmission agreements. “That is a normal basis for negotiation.” When asked whether this would encourage a criminal system in Afghanistan, he said: “But then we could stop pretty much all the economic aid we provide. Because the Development Ministry is not only dealing with poor countries, but also with highly corrupt countries.” The aid has so far not only reached those people who really need it most.

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 up terrorist networks in Germany.

The German government is apparently already planning a different approach: According to a report in “Spiegel”, a delegation from the Federal Ministry of the Interior suggested to the Uzbek government that Afghan deportation candidates be brought to Tashkent. From there, they would be transported on to Kabul with the private airline “KamAir”.

Source: Stern

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