Correspondent in Berlin
Hello, my name is Tony. This is how the US Secretary of State presented himself yesterday afternoon Antony Blink Afghan children waiting at Ramstein Air Base, in Germany, to be transferred to US soil. Blinken sat with them, even showing them photos of their children, and tried to establish a climate of trust by assuring them that “many, many, many Americans are eager to see you.” It is mostly children who have lost their parents, the most fragile and delicate group of the 11,000 Afghan refugees in Ramstein, and Blinken has prioritized the humanitarian aspect of the meeting.
But his main objective on this visit, which he arrived at after passing through Qatar, was to meet the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, an interview that has avoided the official Berlin stage and face to face with Merkel. Blinken wanted to learn first-hand about the bilateral negotiations that Germany is conducting with the Taliban who have seized power in Afghanistan, outside the EU and NATO. To the reassurance of the Americans, the German minister Maas has stated in a statement issued in conjunction with the visit that “we want to act jointly and in a coordinated manner in the next phase, especially in relation to relations with the new leaders of Afghanistan.” .
The new Afghan government is made up exclusively of hard-line Taliban, all of them men, including an interior minister wanted by USA for crimes of terrorism. Germany has been conducting negotiations with the aim of being able to continue evacuating people from Acceptance and the Taliban have made public certain demands, such as giving visibility and officiality to these negotiations, which would imply the recognition of that government, and the continuity of German development aid, some 430 million of euros per year that Germany has so far paralyzed.
“We want to see how to jointly achieve a response and a common way of acting with the Taliban that also serves our interests: respect for fundamental human rights, maintenance of exit routes from the country, humanitarian access and the fight against terrorist groups such as Al Qaida and Islamic State, ”said the German minister.
Concern for the new Afghan government
The United States views the formation of the Afghan government with great concern and hopes that international calls for the Taliban to honor their commitment to allow citizens who feel threatened to leave. Sources from the American embassy in Berlin explained that the talks could serve to coordinate a joint response and avoid any step that leads to official recognition. “Any legitimacy or support for the Taliban government should earn it,” remarked the head of US diplomacy, who “will judge by their actions, not by their words” the new strongmen of Afghanistan.
Blinken certified that for now the Taliban are not meeting their commitments, that they are not allowing flights out of Afghanistan and has explored possible ways to “make them deliver what they promise.” “We will do everything in our power to get those flights off the ground,” he promised.
Maas, for his part, insisted on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. “We have to avoid it with aid organized very quickly under the auspices of the UN,” he said, “it is not only about humanitarian aid but about stability in the region.” “One of the lessons that we have learned in Afghanistan, in these last long days and terrible nights, is that the development of what happens in Afghanistan does not depend on one country or two. The challenge we face requires joint international work and common positions in international settings, so we appreciate the invitation, along with twenty other countries, to address the issue together, “added the German minister to the call for international coordination.
“From the Taliban we expect access, the reopening of the Kabul airport, which will allow us to evacuate people with whom we have a responsibility and who will help us to fight against international terrorism. We demand the protection of the rights, especially of women and minorities. The latest images that come to us from there do not make us very optimistic. The Taliban must bear in mind that isolation does not benefit them or their population, and that without international aid neither the economy nor the country will be able to stabilize. Today we have agreed that Nobody cares that we separate from AfghanistanOn the contrary, that we use our influence, and that is why I believe that this meeting is the beginning of an international agreement that we must build step by step ».
“It was a very constructive visit,” concluded Blinken, who did not forget to thank Germany for the collaboration that makes it possible to use the Ramstein base for American evacuations. He recognized Germany’s contribution and sacrifice in Afghanistan and insisted on continuing to collaborate “so that it does not become a focus territory for international terrorism.”