UN refugee agency Afghanistan and Pakistan sign repatriation accord

Under the tripartite agreement, designed to support a gradual, organized and sustainable return and signed in Brussels yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will continue to assist voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan for three more years, spokesman Ron Redmond said in Geneva today.At the end of this process, a screening will take place to determine who among the remaining Afghan population is still in need of protection and continued refugee status. The agreement with Pakistan is the fourth in a series of such agreements. The first three were signed by the UNHCR, Afghanistan, and the Governments of Iran, France and the United Kingdom. A fifth tripartite agreement was due to be signed later today between the UNHCR, Afghanistan and the Netherlands.