Contain flow of illegal migrants, Merkel urges Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): Concerned at the flow of illegal migrants, Germany has renewed its pledge to support Afghan security and defence forcesand help create jobs opportunities in the war-ravaged country.
During his European trip, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday separately met his German counterpart Joachim Gauck,Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Merkel assured Ghani of continued support for Afghanistan’s peace, stability and development, saying any premature withdrawal of German troops would only help the insurgents, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.
Happy with the extension of NATO’s mission beyond 2016, Merkel said her cabinet had decided to increase the number of German forces to 980 to train the Afghan security personnel.
Berlin would pay more attention to Kabul’s request for development assistance after 2016. The German development minister aidworth $500 million would be provided to Afghanistan till 2020.
Ghani appreciated German aid over the past 14 years and Berlin’s promise of assistance until 2020 and training Afghan security forces, the statement added.
The president also asked for more assistance to the engineering corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the construction of quality buildings for the military. He thanked Merkel for backing continued assistance to Afghanistan.
Merkel and her interior minister called an unprecedented increase in the number of Afghan migrants arriving in Germany a challenge forthe people, parliament and government.Undue asylumrequests and entry of illegal Afghans could negatively affect bilateral relations, they warned.
“There are several factors behind the migration of Afghan youth to Europe, so the root causes should be investigated. Six of 10 asylum seekers loss everything they have and reach Europe in pitiable condition in the hope to have a better life,” Ghani said.
He assured the government would take steps in accordance with the agreements signed during President Karzai’s presidencyon asylum seekers.
“German groups aid smugglers to traffic people and drugs to Europe, using this practice as a source of income; they push people into problems by holding out false promises,” the president observed.
Merkel supported the Afghan government’s planto create work opportunities, including vocational training programmes and providing cheaper houses.Ghani believed German assistance was directed to 30 million, not 30,000, people.
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