Taliban asks EU for help with Afghanistan’s airports

A view of the tarmac at Kabul airport.

A view of the tarmac at Kabul airport.

The Taliban asked for help in keeping Afghanistan’s airports running in weekend talks with EU officials that also raised “grave concern” about the humanitarian situation in their country, according to an EU statement late on Sunday.

Both sides sent senior officials to the Qatari capital Doha for the talks, which happened just ahead of two weeks of negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban due to start on Monday, also in Doha.

The EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS) said in its statement that “the dialogue does not imply recognition by the EU of the interim (Taliban) government but is part of EU’s operational engagement, in the interest of the EU and the Afghan people”.

The EU statement said the Taliban vowed to stick by its promise of “amnesty” for Afghans who had worked against it during the two decades of Western-oriented rule up to the hasty exit and evacuation by the U.S. and its allies in August.

The Taliban side also re-committed to allowing Afghans and foreigners to leave if they wish so, but “requested assistance for maintaining operations of airports” so that could happen.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 8:56:12 am |