India and Austria signed a treaty to prevent illegal migration

Austria and India have signed a comprehensive migration and mobility partnership agreement to facilitate the return of illegal migrants to their home countries.

On Monday, January 2, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar signed the agreement in Vienna.

"Last year, we experienced the highest number ever of asylum seekers in Austria ever…over 100,000. Also, an increasing number of Indians were entering Austria illegally through Serbia," he said.

He claimed that the number of Indian citizens seeking asylum had "suddenly increased to 18,000 last year" from around 600 in 2021.

According to Jaishankar, irregular movement not only increases the vulnerability of those involved, but it is also inherently exploitative. "We want a fair, legal and equal opportunity to demonstrate the contributions of Indian skills and talents.

"This is a much-needed agreement, especially given the sharp increase in illegal migration Austria faced last year, including over 15,000 illegal migrants from India with virtually no chance of asylum," said Claudia Türtscher, spokesperson for Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, when asked about the MMPA. "The agreement is now a useful tool for combating illegal migration collaboratively, as it allows for the quick return of illegal migrants."

Mr. Grossi previously interacted with Mr. Jaishankar in 2016, when he was the head of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and worked on proposals for India's pending membership application.
He has recently been at the forefront of monitoring Russia's occupation of the Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Zaporizhzhia, where India was among the countries that expressed concerns about nuclear safety risks.
India is also interested in the IAEA's assessment of Iran's nuclear programme and efforts to resurrect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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