Correspondent in Brussels
EU member countries could re-establish a joint presence in Kabul to carry out humanitarian evacuation operations, if security conditions permit, but that does not mean that they will recognize the new regime imposed by the Taliban, who remain considered as a terrorist group by most of the European governments.
“We have decided to work in a coordinated manner to coordinate our contact with the Taliban, including through a joint European Union presence in Kabul if minimum security conditions are met,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy. , Josep Borrell, after an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Slovenia.
Borrell has been from the first moment in favor of maintaining as soon as possible “operational” approaches with the TalibanAlthough most governments are much more reticent and in any case prefer that these first contacts be carried out by the EU as such, while they assess the behavior of the new authorities in Kabul. The official recognition of the Taliban government depends on the unblocking of funds and transfers from abroad.
According to Borrell, “to support the Afghan population, we will have to get involved with the new government in Afghanistan, which does not mean recognition. It is an operational commitment.
France has already said that it maintains the doctrine of not recognizing governments but countries and their foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has told the press that since “the Taliban took power by force in Kabul, it is not possible to recognize this de facto power. For the rest, we hope that they will respect the commitments made by the European Union and the G-7 “including” the lifting of obstacles for those who want to leave the country and free access to humanitarian aid in Afghan territory, the rupture total with any terrorist organization, respect for fundamental rights, especially that of women. For Germany “these conditions are not negotiable”, as explained by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, who made it clear that for now “no one has the illusion that all this will be fully accomplished in the next few days” but that it will be a “long-term task.”
Rush to get back
Borrell’s rush to return to Kabul is due to fear that the absence of Western diplomats will leave the open field to countries like Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and Qatar, who keep their embassies open and have fluid relations with the new power. “If we want to help Afghans, we need people in the country who can bring this aid to people in need,” he said, although he will judge the de facto authorities “according to the access they provide.”
The ministers also spoke of strengthening coordination with Afghanistan’s neighbors as they seek to prevent a large-scale flow of migrants from the country to Europe. Borrell said the EU will seek to establish a “Regional political platform” with neighboring countries from Afghanistan to help stabilize the situation, taking into account that Interior officials had agreed this week that they would give priority to the formula that refugees are welcomed in the area before they reach European borders without control.