Europeans considering a joint mission in Afghanistan: Macron

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The French president says the inauguration of a joint mission was being considered, but refuses to recognize Taliban rulers.

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

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Western countries are grappling with how to engage with the Taliban, which power Afghanistan in August as US-led forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years of war.

Macron told reporters in Doha, before leaving for his next destination Saudi Arabia, “We are thinking of an organization among several European countries … a common place for many Europeans, which will allow our ambassadors to be present.” will allow.”

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

The French president stressed that the initiative would not imply political recognition or political dialogue with the Taliban.

In a statement after talks with the Taliban a week ago, the EU suggested it could open a mission soon.

“The EU delegation underlined that the possibility of establishing a minimum presence on the ground in Kabul, which would not require recognition, would directly depend on the security situation, as well as the effective measures taken by the de facto authorities to allow the EU to ensure Will also depend on the decisions taken. Adequate security of its employees and premises,” it said.

‘Lack of identity’

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride reporting from Kabul said that given the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban are “likely to welcome any diplomatic move that will help them”.

“It is less than recognized, people in Afghanistan understand it. But what is interesting is that France as a member of the European Union is not only working on its own in setting up an office…

Meanwhile, Macron also praised Qatar’s role in aiding efforts to evacuate European citizens from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s return to power after the fall of the West-backed government.

Afghanistan’s new rulers have called on the international community to lift diplomatic recognition and sanctions, as they struggle to revive the country’s economy cut off from international financial institutions. The country’s infrastructure was already in disrepair due to decades of war and US-led military occupation.

The US has stashed nearly $10 billion in Afghan central bank reserves and international financial institutions have suspended development funding for the country, plunging a heavily aid-dependent economy and humanitarian aid to economists and aid groups. There is a warning of catastrophe.

Aid organizations have warned of a humanitarian crisis as the winter season begins. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) this week described a “dangerous” socioeconomic outlook for Afghanistan for the next 13 months.

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

The UNDP has projected that poverty could be almost universal by the middle of 2022.

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