EU explores re-opening its mission in Kabul; Taliban says it will benefit Afghan people

The European Union (EU) is considering restoring its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan in the coming months as the bloc moves to explore ways to deal with the Taliban, the new rulers of Afghanistan

Oct 26, 2021
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EU explores re-opening its mission in Kabul

The European Union (EU) is considering restoring its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan in the coming months as the bloc moves to explore ways to deal with the Taliban, the new rulers of Afghanistan. The Taliban termed the possibility as a “good measure” in the interest of the Afghan people, a move that could open the way for other Western embassies to consider similar diplomatic measures in the near future. 

The EU will return to Kabul to coordinate assistance activities and continuous evacuation of certain Afghans, reported Financial Times, a UK-based newspaper. However, there is no discussion yet on recognizing the Taliban, which took over power militarily on 15 August this year.  

For now, the EU has stated that it will take a "measured approach" to the Taliban, exploring dialogue with the administration, without recognizing it, the report said. This came after the last month, the EU dispatched an exploratory mission to Afghanistan to investigate the viability of sending ambassadors back to Kabul in the hopes of putting a one billion euro regional aid package on the table. 

No final decision has been made regarding the return of the mission. The EU has long been pressing the Taliban to moderate its policy, respecting basic human rights. 

"We can affirm that we are attempting to build a limited ground presence. We are unable to discuss the facts due to security concerns," EU's Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Spokesperson, Nabila Massrali was quoted as saying by Financial Times.

She further clarified that the move would not be a “sign of acknowledgment”-- as the EU has frequently stated. “We want to be closer to the Afghan people who need our support so that we can better serve them, and that means engaging with the Taliban," she added. 

Reacting to the report, Ahmadullah Wasiq, Taliban’s deputy spokesperson, said, “The decision of the European Union to reopen its office in the near future is a good step and it is in the interest of the people of Afghanistan.” 

“They will evaluate their work from the vicinity,” he was quoted as saying by TOLOnews. 

The European Commission (EU) has offered a €1 billion support package for Afghans and neighboring nations to address the pressing humanitarian needs. This step came amid the backdrop of a worsening humanitarian crisis as winter approaches. The development assistance by the EU remained frozen.  

(SAM)