The European Union Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell on Tuesday called for dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan to prevent a humanitarian crisis but made clear that doesn’t mean international recognition, according to Politico.
“We have to get in touch with authorities in Kabul … whatever they are. The Taliban have won the war,” he said, speaking after a video meeting of EU foreign ministers at which they discussed the situation in Afghanistan after the Islamist militants took over the country more rapidly than expected in Washington and Brussels.
“We’ll have to talk with them in order to engage in a dialogue, as soon as necessary, to prevent a humanitarian and potential migratory disaster,” he added, mentioning one of the biggest fears of EU officials is that the situation in Afghanistan could trigger a migration crisis like the one from Syria in 2015. Such dialogue “will also have to focus on the means to prevent foreign terrorist presence in Afghanistan,” he added, referring to the other big fear in many capitals.
Borrell also announced that he will send a “reinforcement” of the EU delegation in Kabul in order “to pursue a dialogue with the Taliban for practical matters,” mentioning as a priority the need to evacuate about 400 Afghans and their families who worked for the EU.
Borrell described the events of recent days as the most important geopolitical event that has happened since Crimea was taken by Russia, admitting that mistakes were made while saying it was not the European Union that decided to leave Afghanistan. That decision was taken by President Donald Trump and implemented later by the following American administration.
The Taliban have so far attempted to portray a more moderate image and while EU foreign ministers were meeting, the militant group held a press conference in which they tried to reassure Afghans and the international community about their intentions.
Yet Borrell wasn’t impressed. “They look the same, but they speak better English,” he said.
The EU calls on all parties in Afghanistan to respect all commitments made and to pursue further an inclusive, comprehensive and enduring political solution. The protection and promotion of all human rights, in particular those of women and girls, must be an integral part of these efforts and women should be supported and able to contribute fully to this process, according to a press release.
The EU stressed the utmost importance of the safety and security of all EU citizens in Afghanistan, as well as local staff working for the EU or member states.