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French Court Rejects Jihadist Requests to Repatriate Them From Syria

© REUTERS / Ali HashishoA Daesh flag. File photo
A Daesh flag. File photo - Sputnik International
In February, French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet pointed out that "for the time being" Paris is not changing its policy, saying that "at this stage France is not responding to [Trump's] demands" related to the repatriation of jihadists.

France's top administrative court has rejected requests from Syria-based French jihadists to repatriate them to France.

The court insisted that a judge could not rule on the issue because it stipulates negotiations with foreign authorities.

"The Council of State (Conseil d'Etat) rejects the demands for repatriation made by French nationals and for their children, currently in Syria," the court was cited as saying in a statement on Tuesday.

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The statement comes after France signalled its unwillingness in February to adhere to US President Donald Trump's call for Washington's European allies to repatriate hundreds of Daesh* militants from Syria.

According to French authorities, they would take back militants on a "case-by-case" basis.

They were echoed by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who lashed out at Trump's demand, saying that "it is certainly not as easy as they think in America".

READ MORE: France Has Become Jihadist Hotspot in Europe — Crime Expert on Paris Attack

Maas added that the authorities would have to check to what extent these people were involved in fighting for Daesh*, which "would result in criminal proceedings having to be opened against them".

Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, for his part, emphasised that he shares the stance of France, Denmark and the UK on the matter and that "protection of our own population remains the highest priority, especially from those who are accused of serious crimes".

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders pointed out that Brussels deems it “feasible to find a pan-European solution to this problem or a coordinated solution between the states that are most affected by it”.

READ MORE: 'Islamization of Europe Has Deadly Consequences' — Senior AfD Official

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, in turn, admitted that the issue is "one of the greatest challenges ahead of us for the upcoming months", but warned that "our major endeavour now should be not to allow them [jihadists] to come back to Europe".

A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, removes an Islamic State group flag in the town of Tabqa, about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Raqa city, on April 30, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the group's de facto capital - Sputnik International
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In contrast, Szijjarto's Slovakian counterpart Miroslav Lajcak said that he "would certainly be in favour" of Europe taking jihadists back.

Earlier in February, President Trump urged "Britain, France, Germany and other European allies" to take back 800 Daesh militants captured by the US and US-backed militias in Syria, hinting that they'd release the jihadists if Washington's EU allies refuse to put them on trial.

Trump said in a tweet said that "the US does not want to watch as these ISIS [Daesh] fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go".

*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries

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