European Union officials have given the Taliban a set of conditions, including the rule of law and press freedom, to ensure interaction with the 27-nation bloc.
Although foreign diplomats from EU member countries were evacuated after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last month, officials have said they are ready to cooperate with the Taliban and Afghanistan.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said the bloc wants an inclusive transitional government to be formed in Afghanistan. He also stressed that the Taliban must respect conditions, including freedom of the press and allow foreigners and those who fear for their lives to leave the country.
“Our commitment will depend on meeting these conditions,” Borrell said.
For more Associated Press reporting, see below.
EU focuses on delivering humanitarian aid, ensuring the safe passage out of the country of Afghan collaborators and employees left behind during airlifts from Kabul and trying to prevent a mass exodus of refugees which could cause a new migratory crisis in Europe.
Following meetings with EU foreign ministers in Slovenia, Borrell said that to assess Taliban goodwill, the bloc would use several criteria.
They include a guarantee that Afghanistan will not become a base for “the export of terrorism to other countries”, a commitment to open access for humanitarian aid deliveries, the rule of law and respect for human rights. human rights standards.
“What is clear is that the future of Afghanistan remains a key issue for us,” Borrell said. “It affects us, it affects the region, international stability, and it has a direct impact on European security.
“At the same time, ministers strongly insisted that we remain committed to supporting the Afghan people.
The EU has suspended development aid to the Afghan government, but has pledged around 1.2 billion euros ($ 1.4 billion) for the country for 2021-2024.
To ensure the evacuation of EU nationals and Afghan personnel under the protection of member states and to assess how the Taliban are complying with the conditions of the bloc, Borrell said ministers had agreed to establish a “joint presence of the ‘European Union’ in Kabul, if the security conditions were met.
Foreign ministers also recognized the need to coordinate with Afghanistan’s neighbors through an EU regional political cooperation platform aimed at stabilizing the entire region.
“This political platform will examine, among other things, the management of population flows from Afghanistan; the prevention of the spread of terrorism; the fight against organized crime, including drug trafficking and human trafficking. humans, ”Borrell said.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Anze Logar, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said such cooperation would attempt “to stop any future migratory flow” to the bloc.