The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said this Saturday (21) that the bloc does not recognize the regime Taliban, despite maintaining a dialogue with the extremist group to withdraw citizens from Afghanistan.
The statement was made during a visit to a center created by the Spanish government, at the military air base in Torrejón, in the northeast of the country, to receive people who leave Afghan territory.
European Union says it does not recognize new Taliban government
For the leader of the European bloc, it is necessary to maintain operational contacts with the Taliban to make it easier for people in Kabul to reach the airport. “But this is completely distinct and separate from political negotiations,” he said.
“There are no political negotiations with the Taliban and there is no recognition of the Taliban,” said the European Union leader.
She also stated that the European bloc will only invest in Afghanistan if the Taliban respects human rights.
“O 1 billion euros reserved by the European Union for the next seven years for development aid is bound by strict conditions: respect for human rights, good treatment of minorities and respect for the rights of women and girls“, indicated von der Leyen.
The head of the European bloc warned of reports of women who are not accepted in their workplaces and of persecution because of opinions.
On Saturday, top European Union officials visited the Torrejón military air base facilities, along with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who said the facility could accommodate 800 people.
Two planes sent by Spain to Kabul have already arrived at the air base. one brought five Spaniards and 48 Afghans who worked for Spain and their families. A second arrived at Friday (20) with over 110 Afghans.
A third flight with another 110 passengers left Kabul for Dubai, a city Spain is using as a staging point before the refugees are transferred to Madrid.
The air base is also receiving European Union flights with other Afghan refugees. everyone must pass up to three days there before moving to reception centers elsewhere in Spain or to other European countries.
Sánchez said that the response from other EU members was positive and that some Afghan refugees had already left for other countries in the bloc.
The United States and allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for their part, are fighting to help Afghans who worked for them and who now fear Taliban reprisals to arrive and enter Kabul airport.
Von der Leyen said the EU team is talking to US and NATO officials about the problem. “It’s a very difficult situation, it’s changing by the minute, but there is intense work being done to make the best of a very difficult situation,” she said.
Von der Leyen, however, also called on the international community to help the Afghans who remained in the country.
According to her, the The Taliban’s return to power has displaced nearly 3.7 million people. Many European countries also fear another wave of migration similar to the one in 2015 triggered by the civil war in Syria.
“We must help ensure that displaced Afghans can return to their homes or at least have a perspective, whether they are currently in Afghanistan or in neighboring countries,” she said.
Von der Leyen said that the issue of Afghan migration to be a central concern at next week’s G-7 meeting to help create “safe and legal routes around the world, organized by us, the international community, for those in need of protection”.