11 Apr 2010

Australia backs returning asylum seekers to Afghanistan

10:07 pm on 11 April 2010

Australia's foreign affairs minister Stephen Smith has defended returning asylum seekers to Afghanistan, even if its advice is that it is unsafe for Australians to go there.

The government has suspended processing Afghan refugee applications for six months and Sri Lankan claims for three months reports the ABC.

It argues it's becoming safer in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

The government advises Australians not to travel to Afghanistan, but Mr Smith says the refugee decision is made on a different basis.

He says it's not appropriate to align advice given to the Australian travelling public about particular countries and whether a person does or doesn't qualify to be a refugee under the convention.