16 September 2021
"European Commission president Von der Leyen has reiterated that the EU is supportive of the citizens of Afghanistan.
"We stand by the Afghan people," she said on Wednesday (15 September), in her state of the union address to the European Parliament.
But an internal document says the EU is seeking to return rejected Afghans elsewhere at a time when the country is mired in chaos. Leaked by civil liberties charity Statewatch, the commission document suggests member states can return Afghans to countries outside the EU.
The document is dated 10 September and speaks of return deals, noting that a so-called "third-country national readmission clause" should be used "with certain transit countries".
The basic idea is to ensure rejected Afghans end up somewhere else aside from Europe and Afghanistan, possibly in countries they transited through. Such clauses are among the primary reasons the EU has failed to conclude negotiations on similar agreements over the past few years."
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