Nordic countries to offer asylum to Afghan staff as France suspends deportations of migrants – EURACTIV.com – .

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Nordic countries to offer asylum to Afghan staff as France suspends deportations of migrants – EURACTIV.com – .


About 45 Afghans employed by Denmark in the conflict-affected country will be offered temporary asylum as international troops withdraw, and other Nordic countries are expected to follow suit.
“We have a joint responsibility to help the Afghans who are now threatened because of their links and their contribution to Denmark’s engagement in Afghanistan,” the Danish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement, noting that the the country’s security situation was “serious”. .

Afghans who worked for the Danish armed forces or the Danish embassy will be offered evacuation to Denmark and a two-year residence permit, the ministry said.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the government was exploring ways to evacuate “at least dozens” of Afghans who worked for the Nordic nation, echoing a similar pledge from neighboring Sweden.

Last month, the first batch of Afghans employed by the United States were evacuated, with Germany and the United Kingdom also relocating their local staff.

The Taliban is believed to have killed hundreds of Afghans who worked for forces overseas, as well as their families.

France suspends deportations

France last month suspended the deportation of Afghan migrants whose asylum requests had been rejected, due to the deteriorating security situation in the country as the Taliban launched an offensive, the government said Thursday.

The French Interior Ministry told AFP in a statement that this policy had been in place since early July, after similar announcements of the suspension of these deportations by Germany and the Netherlands.

“We are monitoring the situation closely alongside our European partners,” said the French Ministry of the Interior.

Afghans in 2020 represented the most asylum requests in France, with 8,886 requests.

EU-wide response

Germany and the Netherlands said on Wednesday they had ended forced repatriations of Afghan migrants due to deteriorating security in Afghanistan, a radical departure from their previous stance.

Officials had said until Tuesday that the two governments joined their Austrian, Belgian, Danish and Greek counterparts in writing to the EU executive saying they should be allowed to continue deporting migrants Afghans if their asylum claims are unsuccessful.

Afghanistan urged the EU in July to end forced deportations of Afghan migrants for three months as security forces fight the Taliban offensive before the US military’s full withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31.

The Taliban invaded 10 provincial capitals in a week in a lightning attack, the latest in the strategic Afghan town of Ghazni, just 150 kilometers (95 miles) from Kabul.

The government has now effectively lost most of northern and western Afghanistan and is left with a scattered set of disputed towns also in danger of falling into Taliban hands.

The conflict has intensified dramatically since May, when US-led forces began the final stage of a troop withdrawal expected to end later this month after a 20-year occupation.

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