Press Briefing by Adrian Edwards Spokesperson for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan

Unhand Iran extend Voluntary Repatriation of Afghan Refugees
Representatives of the Governments of Iran, Afghanistan and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have agreed to extend the voluntary repatriation program for Afghan refugees until March 2017.

The agreement was reached at joint meeting held in Mashhad in north-eastern Iran.

By extending the Tripartite Agreement the parties reaffirmed their commitment to the voluntary and gradual nature of repatriation. They also pledged to renew efforts to remove obstacles to Afghan repatriation and to enhance regional cooperation and coordination. The parties also expressed their hopes that the international community’s continuing commitment tithe reconstruction of Afghanistan, as seen in the Afghanistan Compact, would improve the prospects for the return and reintegration of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Since the signing of the first Tripartite Agreement in 2002 some 1.4 million Afghans have returned home from Iran. The results of a recent government registration exercise showed there are more than 900,000 Afghan refugees remaining in Iran.