Cabinet links aid more tightly to asylum deals

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga says the government is seeking closer cooperation on asylum matters with countries benefiting from Swiss development aid.

This content was published on February 20, 2012 minutes and agencies

Negotiations are underway with Tunisia for a deal about assistance based on collaboration to return rejected asylum seekers, she told the Aargauer Zeitung and the Südostschweiz newspapers in a syndicated interview.

“The cabinet will place more emphasis on the readiness of a state to cooperate in the future,” she is quoted as saying.

However, she reiterated that the government rejected calls by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party to make any kind of aid dependent on the return of rejected asylum seekers.

Sommaruga also announced that the Federal Migration Office would send a liaison officer to Rome aimed at boosting cooperation with neighbouring Italy – a transit country for many African asylums seekers.

Parliament is due to decide on proposals to tighten asylum policy in its forthcoming spring session.

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