Immigration minister Nebahat Albayrak has spoken with her Iraqi counterpart about the possibility of returning Iraqi asylum seekers to the country, reports ANP news agency on Friday.
Iraqi refugees currently have special protection in the Netherlands but Albayrak is looking into whether this is still necessary and whether the situation in their home country is safe enough for them to return.
Speaking from at conference on immigration in Ukraine on Friday, the minister said that she expects to make a decision on the issue within a few weeks, reports ANP. Albayrak said the Iraqi minister told her that his country would be very pleased if the refugees returned home but needed support if this was to happen.
Albayrak is to call for the reintegration of refugees who return home voluntarily at the Ukraine conference and at a meeting of European immigration ministers on Monday in Paris, says ANP.
EU countries should work together on this and consider at an early phase how to ensure repatriation of refugees is a long term move.
The minister’s comments follow unrest in parliament last week about the significant rise in Iraqi and Somali refugees to the Netherlands.
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