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Germany Plans to Return Afghan Refugees Home

German Interior Minister Otto Schily said on Wednesday that Afghan refugees living in Germany should return home this spring despite recent outbreaks of violence in the capital Kabul. Schily insisted that the planned repatriation would go off smoothly considering that millions of Afghan refugees from other countries were already back in Afghanistan. Following a talk with his Afghan counterpart, Ali Ahmad Dschalali, Schily stressed that the German government accepted civil war refugees only for a limited time, but not on a permanent basis. The interior minister also urged Afghanistan to do more in its fight against the drug trade, but admitted that thriving drug markets in Germany and elsewhere in Europe were compounding the problem. Schily also announced on Wednesday that Germany would in future cooperate closely with Turkey in battling organized crime because Turkey is a key transit hub for drugs via the Balkans to Europe.