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UN refugee commissioner wants to relocate 85,000 Afghans

Brussels - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has campaigned for around 85,000 Afghans to be relocated over the next five years. He asked the European Union via Twitter to include 42,500 of them.

The EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson supported the request. Taking in more people from Afghanistan is a “moral duty”, she emphasized in a statement on Thursday evening at a meeting on the situation of Afghan refugees.

Johansson pointed out that already 22,000 Afghans had found protection in the EU after the Taliban came to power. She appealed to the EU states to promote the integration of these people.

Johansson also expressed plans for a multi-year support program for Afghans. To this end, a task force should be set up and regular forums for the resettlement of Afghan refugees should be held.

Austria's interior minister rejects the admission of Afghans
Meanwhile, Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) expressed sharp criticism of the distribution of refugees in the EU. Without effective protection of the external borders, a distribution discussion would be "pointless", he told Die Welt. “If we had a functioning protection of the EU's external border, hundreds of thousands of migrants would not come to the EU every year. Instead of establishing a functioning external border protection system, the EU Commission has been debating the distribution of refugees for six years,” he complained.

In this context, Nehammer also underlined Austria's stance not to accept any further Afghans. "And not even in the context of so-called resettlements," he emphasized.

In view of the ongoing discussion about the admission of Afghans in Germany as well, the AfD recently accused the federal government of withholding relevant details about so-called local staff . "Although the federal government has two lists of names with a total of 50,000 Afghans, the government persistently refuses to comply with its duty to provide information to parliament," criticized the deputy AfD parliamentary group leader, Beatrix von Storch.

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