France and Europeans are working to open a mission in Afghanistan: Macron | New

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The French president said the opening of a joint mission was being considered but ruled out recognition of the Taliban leadership.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that several European countries were considering opening a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, but stressed that this would not mean recognition of the country’s Taliban leadership.

Western countries are grappling with how to engage with the Taliban, who seized control of Afghanistan in a breakthrough in August as US-led forces completed their withdrawal after 20 years of war.

“We are thinking of an organization between several European countries (…)

“This is a different approach from political recognition or political dialogue with the Taliban … we will have representation as soon as we can open,” he said.

The French president affirmed that this initiative would not be the sign of political recognition or of a political dialogue with the Taliban.

In a statement following talks with the Taliban a week ago, the European Union suggested it may open a mission soon.

“The EU delegation stressed that the possibility of establishing a minimum presence on the ground in Kabul, which would not entail recognition, will depend directly on the security situation, as well as on the actual decisions of the de facto authorities to allow the EU to ensure adequate protection of its staff and premises, ”he said.

“No recognition”

Al Jazeera reporting Rob McBride from Kabul said that given the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban were likely to “welcome any diplomatic initiative that would help them.”

“This is not recognized, the Afghans understand it. But what is interesting is that as a member of the European Union, France does not seem to act alone by creating an office… but could help bring other Europeans with it ”, he added. he adds.

Meanwhile, Macron also praised Qatar’s role in helping efforts to evacuate European citizens out of Afghanistan after the Taliban returned to power following the collapse of the West-backed government.

The new Afghan leadership appealed to the international community for diplomatic recognition and the lifting of sanctions, as they struggled to revive the country’s economy cut off from international financial institutions. The country’s infrastructure was already in tatters due to decades of war and US-led military occupation.

The United States has frozen nearly $ 10 billion in Afghan central bank reserves and international financial institutions have suspended development funding for the country, plunging the heavily aid-dependent economy into crisis and leaving economists and aid groups warn of a humanitarian disaster.

As the winter season sets in, aid organizations have warned of a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) this week described “alarming” socio-economic prospects for Afghanistan for the next 13 months.

In Afghanistan, more than 24 million people are in need of life-saving assistance, a dramatic increase due to political turmoil, economic shocks and severe food insecurity.

The UNDP predicted that poverty could become nearly universal by mid-2022.


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