Austria rejects Luxembourg's criticism of its Afghan refugee policy

Vienna, Aug. 31, (dpa/GNA) - Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg says he sharply rejects criticism of his country's refugee policy concerning Afghanistan by Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

Asselborn's statements were "simply absurd," according to Schallenberg. "Misusing the tragic situation in Afghanistan for cheap populism and blindly repeating the mistakes of 2015 and 2016 does not make one a good European," Schallenberg said.

Asselborn, who is also immigration minister, had told Die Welt newspaper that Austria and Slovenia were refusing to show solidarity with the troubled people of Afghanistan at this tense moment.

Austria hosts the fourth-largest community of Afghans per capita worldwide and the second-largest within the EU, he said. "It would be welcome if Asselborn would show a similar degree of solidarity and humanity. For that, Luxembourg would have to take in six times as many Afghans as currently live there," he said.