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Germany says influx of Afghan migrants unacceptable and many will likely be sent back home

  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere briefs the media during a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Germany’s Interior Minister says many of the Afghans pouring into the country will most likely be sent back to their homeland. Thomas de Maiziere says Germany and other western nations have poured millions in developmental aid into Afghanistan, as well as sending troops and police to help train security forces there, and that Afghanistan’s government agrees with Berlin that citizens should stay and help rebuild the country.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere briefs the media during a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Germany’s Interior Minister says many of the Afghans pouring into the country will most likely be sent back to their homeland. Thomas de Maiziere says Germany and other western nations have poured millions in developmental aid into Afghanistan, as well as sending troops and police to help train security forces there, and that Afghanistan’s government agrees with Berlin that citizens should stay and help rebuild the country. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere at the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery, in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere at the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery, in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere briefs the media during a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Germany’s Interior Minister says many of the Afghans pouring into the country will most likely be sent back to their homeland. Thomas de Maiziere says Germany and other western nations have poured millions in developmental aid into Afghanistan, as well as sending troops and police to help train security forces there, and that Afghanistan’s government agrees with Berlin that citizens should stay and help rebuild the country.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere briefs the media during a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Germany’s Interior Minister says many of the Afghans pouring into the country will most likely be sent back to their homeland. Thomas de Maiziere says Germany and other western nations have poured millions in developmental aid into Afghanistan, as well as sending troops and police to help train security forces there, and that Afghanistan’s government agrees with Berlin that citizens should stay and help rebuild the country. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's top security official complained Wednesday of an "unacceptable" influx of Afghans from relatively safe areas of their country, and warned that many of them will have to return home.

Germany is struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees and other migrants who have arrived this year.

Syrians, the biggest single group of new arrivals, are more or less assured asylum because of the civil war in their country. But Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Afghanistan is in second place both for October and the year to date.

"This is unacceptable," he told reporters in Berlin. "We agree with the Afghan government that we don't want this, and there are also increasing numbers of members of the middle class — including many from Kabul."

De Maiziere said Germany agrees with the Afghan government that young and middle-class Afghans should stay home and rebuild the country. "German soldiers and police officers are contributing to making Afghanistan safer," he added.

Germany, a longtime contributor to international forces in Afghanistan, currently has 944 soldiers in the NATO-led Resolute Support training mission there.

"Large amounts of development aid have gone to Afghanistan — so we can expect that Afghans stay in their country," de Maiziere said. "So I am saying very clearly today that people who come to us as refugees from Afghanistan cannot all expect to be able to stay in Germany."

De Maiziere said Germany isn't going to declare Afghanistan a "safe country of origin," as it has with several Balkan countries, and stressed that asylum applications will be examined carefully on a case-by-case basis.

However, he said Germany will work with the Afghan government to ensure that people are returned and that the European Union will negotiate a deal with Kabul so that it takes rejected applicants back.