Six EU countries warn against open door for Afghan asylum seekers

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Six EU member states have sent a letter to the bloc’s executive warning against halting deportations of rejected Afghan asylum seekers despite major advances of Taliban militants in their country.

The Taliban, fighting to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster, have made sweeping gains in their campaign to defeat the government as U.S.-led foreign forces pull out.[nL1N2PH0LT]

“Stopping returns sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home for the EU,” Austria, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Germany said in the letter dated Aug. 5 and seen by Reuters.

“This is why we urge you and your teams at the Commission to intensify talks with the Afghan government on how returns to Afghanistan can and will continue in the coming months.”

Many EU member states are nervous that developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of Europe’s 2015/16 migration crisis when the chaotic arrival of more than a million people from the Middle East stretched security and welfare systems and fuelled political support for far-right groups.

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