Minister of the Interior Risikko and Iraq’s Deputy Minister Al Attiyah discuss cooperation agreement

Ministry of the Interior 24.1.2017 16.06
Press release

This is an English translation of a press release originally issued in Finnish on 24 January 2017.

Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko and Iraq’s Deputy Minister for Migration and Displacement Jassim Al Attiyah met in Helsinki on 24 January. The ministers continued their discussions on a bilateral cooperation agreement which includes efforts to step up cooperation concerning returns.

Finland and Iraq have held discussions on how to step up cooperation concerning return issues since autumn 2015. Last year more than 1,500 asylum seekers left Finland and returned voluntarily to Iraq with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In addition, about 1,400 people returned on flights for voluntary returnees arranged by the police.

- The primary goal of both countries is voluntary return. However, together with the Iraqi authorities we have to find a viable and functional solution for those whose application for asylum has been refused, says Minister of the Interior Risikko.

The meeting was also attended by Päivi Nerg, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, who visited Baghdad in December.


Päivi Nerg, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 50 456 1012,