Thursday, September 16

The EU sets five conditions for engaging with the Taliban as it seeks to open an office in Kabul to resume evacuations

“There are two plans,” explains the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, “the practical and the political. On the practical side, we need to talk to the Taliban to continue with evacuations and humanitarian aid. And that’s what it’s for It is better to be in person than by videoconference. It is not about recognition, but about being operational. Neither the EU nor the 27 are going to reopen their embassies as if nothing had happened. And then there is the field of political dialogue, for which we have agreed five conditions “.

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The EU Foreign Ministers have met in Slovenia to deal primarily with the crisis in Afghanistan. And they have reached an agreement to try to set up a coordination office in Kabul piloted by the EU External Action Service, under Borrell, to try to get people out of the country pending evacuation. In addition, they have discussed how to relate to the new Taliban regime.

“To support the Afghan population, we will have to relate to the new government in Afghanistan,” Borrell explained after the meeting, “which does not mean recognition, but an operational relationship. And this operational relationship will increase depending on the behavior of this Government. To measure behavior, we need benchmarks, benchmarks that we have discussed as the basis for the European Union’s relationship with the Afghan rulers after the Taliban take over. ”

The first condition is “the commitment that Afghanistan not serve as a basis for the export of terrorism to other countries; secondly, respect for human rights, in particular the rights of women, the rule of law and the freedom of the media; the third point, the establishment of an inclusive and representative transitional government through negotiations between the political forces in Afghanistan; the fourth, the free access of humanitarian aid, respecting our procedures and conditions for its delivery; the Finally, the fulfillment of the Taliban commitment on the departure of foreigners and Afghans at risk who wish to leave the country, in line with what has already been decided by the United Nations Security Council resolution. ”

“Our relationship with the Taliban will depend on the fulfillment of these conditions”, has sentenced Borrell.


In addition to how to relate to the new power in Kabul, the meeting discussed how to continue with the evacuations pending after the US exit from Afghanistan and, with it, the lack of security at the Kabul airport. “They are people who are at risk, people who worked with us, who supported the democratization process in Afghanistan and they are still there. We know them and they have to be evacuated. Each of the Member States will decide, voluntarily, on the people. at risk that they are willing to receive. ”

Thus, Borrell said, “to undertake this evacuation, and to assess compliance with the five conditions, we have decided to work in a coordinated manner and coordinate our contacts with the Taliban through the joint presence of the European Union in Kabul, coordinated by the Service European Union of External Action, if the security conditions are met. If the evacuation of the people we are willing to accept from each Member State is to be carried out in a coordinated manner, we need a direct contact, a close presence. And this will be done in a coordinated through the joint European Union presence in Kabul if security conditions are met. ”

If these security conditions are not met, Borrell has suggested that the office can be opened in Doha (Dubai).

In addition, to “coordinate the participation of regional partners”, explained Borrell, the ministers “considered it appropriate for the European Union to launch a regional political platform for cooperation with Afghanistan’s neighbors to address, among other issues, the management of Afghanistan’s population flows; preventing the spread of terrorism; combating organized crime, including drug trafficking and human trafficking. ”

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