Dispute between Germany and the United States: Afghans in Ramstein apply for political asylum abroad

Will the actual transit camp for Afghan refugees at the US Air Force base in Ramstein become a springboard for asylum applications in Germany?

Since the Taliban captured Kabul in mid-August, the United States has been expelling former local workers and allies, their families, and other vulnerable people from Afghanistan. Since the end of August, they are also using their base in Ramstein as a transit camp for evacuation flights to the United States.

So far, more than 34,000 Afghans have arrived in Ramstein. More than 20,000 are said to have left the base for the United States. However, about 14,000 Afghans are still waiting to leave the country.

But it seems that some of them do not want to leave Germany anymore.


Moreover, more than 14,000 Afghans are said to be waiting in Ramstein to leave the country. Some of them now seem to want to stay in GermanyPhoto: Olivier Doolery / dpa

As BILD learned from the security services on Tuesday, at least 90 Afghans residing in Ramstein have applied for asylum in Germany. Other sources talk about as many as 140 requests – and the number is growing.

According to a report by Spiegel, who first reported this, the US soldiers had “referred relevant cases via the Federal Police to the responsible German immigration authorities” on the grounds.


Many of those waiting in Ramstein are women and children

Many of those waiting in Ramstein are women and childrenPhoto: Marcus Schreiber/The Associated Press

Asylum applications are now the subject of a concrete dispute between the German Foreign Ministry, the US State Department and within the federal government.

Because, according to the State Department, Germany and the US government agreed before the opening of the transit camp (on German soil!) that all those in need of protection would also travel to the US or other countries if necessary.

On September 1, a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry said in response to a request from BILD: “It is already an agreement with the United States that all people arriving from the United States via Ramstein via Ramstein must also arrive in Germany again. There are similar obligations. from the United States “.

But as the US State Department’s Bild has learned, the issue is not at all clear-cut as previously described by the Federal State Department. A spokesman for Bild newspaper said: “We adhere to all pre-agreed legal protocols and forward every asylum application to the responsible German authorities.”

So some people in need of protection can stay in Germany if they receive a positive asylum application. Even with a negative answer, the procedure is likely to last much longer than the maximum length of stay of two weeks per person on the transit trip in Ramstein promised by the USA.

As BILD has also learned, there is significant dissatisfaction within the federal government over the asylum applications that have now been submitted. Accordingly, the Federal Ministry of the Interior relied, among other things, on the promise of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that all persons residing in Ramstein would also leave the Federal Republic. Now you can see in the Ministry of the Interior led by the CSU a “broken word” from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by the SPD.

According to BILD’s information, the background to the surprising asylum applications is that apparently not all Afghans residing in Ramstein were allowed to enter the United States – which was the starting point when they were evacuated from Kabul.

The United States plans to transfer some of them to third countries such as Albania and Uganda. According to BILD information, some of those affected refuse to do so, which is why they are now trying to find permanent shelter in Germany.

Parliamentary Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior Stefan Meyer (47, CSU): “Of course, each asylum application must be examined individually and comprehensively. But it must be taken into account that the Afghan citizens are in the custody of the US authorities who are not pursuing them but who rescued them.”

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