(Bloomberg) -- Germany is in talks with Uzbekistan over a migration pact that could include the deportation of Afghan asylum seekers so that Berlin does not have to make any direct deals with the Taliban, according to people familiar with the plan.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has vowed a tougher stance on migration, including the deportation of criminal asylum seekers to Afghanistan and Syria. The push follows a recent series of violent attacks and the rise of the populist far-right in Germany.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, a senior member of Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats, sent officials to the Uzbek capital Tashkent at the end of May to negotiate a migration and deportation pact, the people said on condition of anonymity as the talks are not concluded yet.

Under the proposed plan, the Uzbek government would take a limited number of Afghan asylum seekers rejected and deported from Germany and then send them onwards to neighboring Afghanistan with the help of a private airline offering flights to Kabul. 

The Uzbek government is looking at the idea but wants any migration pact to also include bilateral rules that would allow legal migration of skilled workers from Uzbekistan to Germany, the people added.

The German government’s special representative for migration agreements, Joachim Stamp, will travel to Uzbekistan soon for further talks on such an agreement, the people said.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on the plan that was also reported by Der Spiegel magazine and DPA news agency.

Following a fatal knife attack by an Afghan asylum seeker on a German policeman, Scholz announced in a law and order speech to parliament on June 6 that his government would enable deportation of criminals to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and war-torn Syria. 

“Serious criminals and terrorist threats have no place here,” Scholz told lawmakers, adding that the interior ministry was working on the practical implementation and was already in talks with countries bordering Afghanistan. Germany had completely halted deportations to Afghanistan shortly before the Taliban came back to power in the summer of 2021.

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