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Iraq refuses to accept deported refugees

July 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, July 10 (UPI) -- Netherlands officials said Iraq will not help the Dutch government deport Iraqi nationals who have failed to become officially recognized as asylum seekers.

Junior Justice Minister Fred Teeven, who just returned from a trip to Iraq, told DutchNews.nl that the country is refusing to accept Iraqis who are being deported against their will.

Only Iraqis who volunteer to return to Iraq will be accepted, Teeven said.

"They were intensive talks because Iraq is not enthusiastic," Teeven told DutchNews.nl. "It is a question of taking a deep breath and there are many obstacles to overcome. There is willingness to cooperate on a cautious scale."

Many of the Iraqis, who are living in tents and in former churches in the Netherlands, can't be deported without Iraq's help because they don't have the proper paperwork.

Iraq officials have said that too many citizens are returning to be taken care of and to find jobs for.

Teeven's predecessor, Gerd Leers, offered Iraq more than $6 million in development aid in return for accepting the deportees, but Iraq demanded $10,000 per person, DutchNews.nl said.

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