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Home NATIONALFinland, Iraq discuss refugee return issue
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Thu, 26 Jan, 2017 12:43:55 AM
FTimes-FNN Report, Jan 25

The authorities of Finland and Iraq on Tuesday held a meeting in Helsinki to find out a way to ensure return of the Iraqi refugees who were rejected asylum in Finland.

Finnish Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko held the bilateral talks with Iraq's Deputy Minister for Migration and Displacement Jassim Al Attiyah, said an official press release.

The ministers continued their discussions on a bilateral cooperation agreement which includes efforts to step up cooperation concerning returns.

“The primary goal of both countries is voluntary return. However, together with the Iraqi authorities we have to find a viable and functional solution for those whose application for asylum has been refused,” said Interior Minister Paula Risikko.

Finland and Iraq have held discussions on how to step up cooperation concerning return issues since autumn 2015.

Last year more than 1,500 asylum seekers left Finland and returned voluntarily to Iraq with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In addition, about 1,400 people returned on flights for voluntary returnees arranged by the police.

The meeting was also attended by Päivi Nerg, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of the Interior, who visited Baghdad in December, the press release added.

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