October 02, 2016 - 9:56 AM
BERLIN - The German government says Afghanistan has agreed to co-operate on the return of Afghan citizens whose request for asylum in Germany is rejected.
Germany's interior minister says the two countries signed a joint declaration Sunday that will provide a "clear and reliable basis" for both voluntary returns and deportations.
Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement Sunday that the agreement would help increase acceptance of Afghan asylum-seekers in Germany.
Germany has taken in the greatest number of refugees from Afghanistan of any European country.
Reducing the number of asylum-seekers coming to Germany — about 890,000 arrived in 2015 — has become a top priority for Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.
Details of the agreement weren't provided and Interior Ministry officials didn't immediately respond to phone calls and emails.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016