Turkey has very important role in managing Afghan migrant wave: Top EU diplomat

by Sami Burgaz
What happened in Afghanistan is defeat of Western world, EU will feel consequences, says bloc’s foreign policy chief.

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – Turkey will “play a very important role” in dealing with the wave of Afghans fleeing their country, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Spain’s state broadcaster RTVE, Borrell said the EU will have to work closely with countries on the route between Afghanistan and Europe to “avoid a humanitarian crisis,” noting that Turkey will be particularly important.

He lamented that the bloc does not have a common policy for accepting refugees in a situation such as the one being witnessed in Afghanistan.

Although there are conflicting positions from European leaders, he said the EU is trying to establish a clear solution.

“But frankly, this is tomorrow’s worry. Right now, we’re worried about ensuring the Kabul airport is functional and that the people we need to pick up are ready to go when our planes arrive,” said the top EU diplomat.

‘Afghanistan is defeat of Western world’

In the interview, Borrell did not try to minimize the geopolitical significance of the rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

“What happened in Afghanistan is a defeat of the Western world. We must have the courage to recognize it and analyze its causes and consequences,” he said.

He called it “the most serious geopolitical event since Russia annexed Crimea” and said it will affect the balance of power in the world.

“This current situation is forcing us to rethink how we should act and defend the values we profess to hold,” Borrell said.

Despite the Taliban’s vision of women being the “antithesis” of the EU’s beliefs, he said the bloc will need to start a dialogue with the Taliban to safely get more people to the Kabul airport.

“It’s not enough to say we’re worried. We have to find solutions with what we have. At the moment, our resources are limited and concentrated on the fundamental task of repatriating local staff, European citizens or the highly vulnerable,” he insisted.

While some EU military flights have started operating again, Borrell added that safely transporting more people to the Afghan capital’s airport “isn’t so easy.”


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