Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democratic Party of Germany) and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) have agreed on behalf of the German Government that the situation in Afghanistan should be reassessed. Following the devastating attack on the German Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul, Foreign Minister Gabriel took the initiative to have the situation reassessed.
The Federal Foreign Office’s assessments are one of the important factors in decisions by German administrative authorities and courts on recognising or rejecting asylum applications and on repatriating rejected applicants. It has been possible to repatriate rejected asylum seekers so far on the basis of the current assessment. In recent years, up to 60 percent of applications by asylum seekers from Afghanistan were recognised in Germany – a significantly higher percentage than in other European Union Member States.
Before a new and comprehensive assessment can be completed, the German Embassy Kabul must become fully operational again. The aim is to present the report in July. Until then, rejected asylum seekers will be helped to return to Afghanistan voluntarily. In 2016, as many as 3300 people returned of their own volition. Until the situation has been reassessed, rejected asylum seekers will only be forcibly repatriated in the case of criminals, individuals who pose a terrorist threat, or people who categorically refuse to allow their identity to be established. (In 2016, 67 people were forcibly repatriated.) Such decisions will be made on a case‑by‑case basis.