EU has to talk with Taliban: EU foreign policy chief

by Sami Burgaz
Bloc’s priority is to evacuate EU nationals, 400 Afghans who worked with them.

BRUSSELS (AA) – The European Union has to engage in talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

“We have to get in touch with authorities in Kabul whomever they are. The Taliban won the war, we have to talk to them,” Borrell noted following the extraordinary videoconference of EU foreign ministers.

Borrell also noted that the Taliban could take the power this quickly because they created an atmosphere of terror among citizens.

He stressed that the bloc will only cooperate with the new Afghan government if it provides a “peaceful and inclusive settlement and respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including women, youth, and persons belonging to minorities.”

He explained that the most urgent priority for the bloc is to ensure the safe departure of EU nationals and Afghans who worked with the EU or EU member states over the past 20 years.

“We are doing everything we can in order to take these people out of Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the nearly 400 Afghan nationals and their families who worked for the EU delegation in Afghanistan.

He thanked Spain for welcoming evacuated Afghans as a primary hub while waiting for asylum for other EU counties, as well as France for providing military security on the ground and Italy for airbridge facilities.

The EU foreign ministers also agreed that the bloc had to prevent large-scale migratory movements, and provide support for transit and neighbor countries.

EU interior ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting Wednesday to discuss the bloc’s approach to a potential migration crisis.

The war between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified as foreign troops announced to withdraw from the country by Sept. 11.

The Taliban made rapid military advances and took control over the capital on Sunday as Afghan government forces fled or surrendered. President Ashraf Ghani also left the country.


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