The Taliban are asking Europe for help to continue managing Afghan airports

The Taliban asked for assistance in keeping Afghan airports operational during weekend talks with EU officials who also touched on “serious concerns” about the humanitarian situation. in Afghanistan, according to a statement released by the European Union on Sunday.

The two sides have sent senior officials to Doha for talks, which took place before negotiations between the United States and the Taliban also begin on Monday in the Qatari capital.

Taliban representatives in Doha ahead of talks with foreign officials last October
Taliban representatives in Doha ahead of talks with foreign officials last October

“Dialogue does not mean the recognition by the European Union of the interim government (of the Taliban), but is part of the operational commitment of the European Union, for the benefit of the European Union and the Afghan people”, the external action of the European Union (EEAS) stated in its statement.

The Taliban delegation was led by the interim foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaki, accompanied by the interim ministers of education and health, the interim governor of the central bank and officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, interior and intelligence direction.

As for the European Union delegation, it was led by the Union Special Envoy in Afghanistan Thomas Nicholasson, accompanied by officials from the External Action Service and others from the European Commission working in the fields of humanitarian aid, international partnerships and migration.

‘The worsening of the humanitarian situation’

The statement states that the European Union has pledged to keep the promise of “forgiveness” for the Afghans who worked against them during the two decades leading up to the evacuation of US forces and its allies from the country last August. .

The Taliban also pledged once again to allow Afghans and foreigners to leave if they wished, but “asked for assistance” in continuing to manage airport operations “to make this possible”.

An element of the Taliban at the Kabul airport
An element of the Taliban at the Kabul airport

The statement indicated that “the two sides expressed their deep concern about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan as winter approaches, “adding that the European Union will continue to provide humanitarian aid.

The EU delegation lobbied the Taliban to form an “inclusive government”, promote democracy, ensure equal access to education for girls and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a base for any group that “threatens security of the others “.

The statement also indicated that if the Taliban apply EU conditions, it will be possible to release additional funding to the new rulers of Afghanistan who are in financial difficulties, but only “for the benefit of the Afghan people”.

For their part, the Taliban have reiterated that they will uphold human rights “in line with Islamic principles “and said they would welcome the return of closed diplomatic missions, according to the statement.

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