Chancellor wants to give Afghan local workers “a way out” | free press

Berlin (dpa) – The federal government wants to support threatened local workers from Afghanistan with air travel to safe Germany.

“I want us to be here to really give those who have helped us a lot a way out,” Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said in Berlin on Thursday. Plans for organized charter flights are also on the table. So far, about 3,000 people have received an admission ticket to Germany, about 490 are former employees of the Bundeswehr or the German police. There are also an average of five family members.

In particular, the Defense Ministry had urged to do more to support threatened, local workers who had helped the Bundeswehr with operations in the country. Other ministries were more reserved. Even after the withdrawal of NATO’s “Resolute Support” troop, the Ministry of Development continues German projects in Afghanistan and relies on local workers in the country.

“Our goal is that those who have worked for Germany since 2013 also have the opportunity to come to Germany, if they wish, so as not to be threatened,” Merkel said verbatim about the debate on workers by the armed forces and police. . This was also discussed in the cabinet the day before. “I’m doing everything I can to make sure we find pragmatic solutions as far as we can, and that also means the flight shouldn’t fail because you don’t have the money. We will take care of that. And that might also mean thinking about charter planes.”

When asked whether Germany would take in a larger number of refugees from Afghanistan given the situation in the country, the chancellor said Germany had already taken in a large number of Afghan refugees. There are also difficult situations in other countries. “We cannot solve all these problems by taking in people,” Merkel said.

Given the deteriorating security situation, it is currently also controversial whether deportations to Afghanistan are still possible. The Afghan government has asked European states to suspend the deportations for three months. The federal government has not yet taken a decision on this. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said in mid-July on request: “So far we have carried out returns to Afghanistan in cooperation with the authorities of the country. We do not intend to deviate from that now.” The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently completed a new report on the asylum situation in Afghanistan.

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