POLITICS

EU says no recognition of Taliban, no political talks post takeover of Afghanistan

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EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union has not recognised the Taliban, nor is it holding political talks with the militants.

European Union

IMAGE: AP

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday, 21 August 2021, said that the European Union has not recognised the Taliban, nor is it holding political talks with the insurgent group, which took over Kabul on Sunday, 15 August 2021. Von der Leyen spoke after visiting a reception centre in Madrid for Afghan employees of EU institutions evacuated from Afghanistan. She said that she would propose an increase in the 57 million euros ($67 million) in humanitarian aid which the Commission had allocated this year for Afghanistan.

The head of the EU executive said EU development aid is tied to respect of human rights, good treatment of minorities and respect for the rights of women and girls. “We may well hear the Taliban’s words but we will measure them above all by their deeds and actions,” von der Leyen told a news conference. She also added that the commission was ready to provide funding to EU countries that help resettle refugees, and she planned to raise the resettlement issue at a G7 meeting next week.

We need to help.

Not only the Afghans arriving here in Spain, but also those who have remained in Afghanistan.

The EU is firmly committed to continue supporting the NGOs operating in the country.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 21, 2021

Europe fears Afghan refugee crisis 

Meanwhile, haunted by a 2015 migration crisis fueled by the Syrian war, European leaders desperately want to avoid another large-scale influx of migrants and refugees from Afghanistan. According to The Associated Press, EU officials suggested setting up “deportation centres” in countries neighbouring Afghanistan so that EU countries can deport Afghans who have been denied asylum even if they cannot be sent back to their homeland. Even Germany warned last week that there must be “no-repeat” of the migration crisis of 2015.

French President Emmanuel Macron stressed that “Europe alone cannot shoulder the consequences” of the situation in Afghanistan and “must anticipate and protect ourselves against significant irregular migratory flows.” Britain said it would welcome 5,000 Afghan refugees this year and resettle a total of 20,000 in the coming years. Besides that, there have been few concrete offers from European countries, which besides evacuating their own citizens and Afghan collaborators, say they are focusing on helping Afghans inside their country and in neighbouring countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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