Migration, energy and disaster relief were the focus of talks that Federal Chancellor Karl Nehamer (ÖVP) convened today after the opening of the general debate at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The chancellor met with heads of state and government of Iraq, Pakistan, Norway and Serbia.
Nimer mainly discussed immigration issues with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Iraqi citizens have been among the top applicants for asylum since 2015, according to sources close to the chancellor. Meanwhile, the prospect of Iraqi asylum seekers being recognized in Austria is declining.
For this reason, a consistent return policy is more important than ever. “However, Austria also depends on the countries of origin when it comes to refoulement or deportation.” So good cooperation with the countries of origin is essential.
“Increased number of asylum applications”
Immigration also dominated talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Nehamer identified a “dramatic increase in the number of asylum applications from safe countries of origin of nationalities such as India and Tunisia.” The reason for this is, among other things, “the liberalization of Serbia’s visa towards these countries.”
The Chancellor discussed with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif the consequences of the catastrophic floods caused by the continuing heavy monsoon rains. 33 million people are affected in the South Asian country, and so far there have been more than 1,300 deaths.
Regarding the meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Nehammer said: “For me, the talks with the Norwegian Prime Minister were also the beginning of a stronger cooperation with Norway on the issue of energy security.”
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