ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – German authorities hope to repatriate 10,000 Iraqi refugees to Iraq through the establishment of migration advisory centers in the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad.
Germany has received tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers, especially over the past few years after the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, notably those who were directly affected by the conflict.
According to German news agency Deutsche Welle, Berlin wants to facilitate the return of Iraqi refugees to their country. The German government has decided to open two migration advisory centers in Baghdad and Erbil.
"With the start of the repatriation program ‘Perspektive Heimat’ [Homeland Perspectives] we want to enable up to 10,000 Iraqi refugees in Germany to make their way back to their homeland," said the Development Minister, Gerd Mueller.
The centers will help with the reintegration of returning refugees to their countries of origin, as well as provide means for legal immigration to Germany.
Germany has pledged 350 million Euros in support to Iraq at this week’s donor’s conference in Kuwait. The funds will primarily support humanitarian emergency aid for millions of refugee children and the development of schools, hospitals, and infrastructure for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The European state has been a popular destination for Iraqis fleeing violence in recent years. Until the mid-1970s, the presence of Iraqis in Germany was largely limited to students completing their education abroad.
After the second Gulf War in the early 1990s and the war that toppled Saddam in 2003, over 90,000 Iraqis have resettled in Germany.
Mueller said he would soon meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the “possibility of closer cooperation for the return of refugees from Germany” and Berlin’s “expectations” to allow the country to rebuild and create the “conditions for Iraqi refugees to return to their homeland.”