Against conditions: Maas offers money to the Taliban for Afghanistan |

Kranj (AP) – The federal government has given the Islamist Taliban militants the possibility of Germany resuming development aid payments currently set for Afghanistan.

A prerequisite, however, is a government that is not only made up of the Taliban, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas explained at the start of consultations with his counterparts from other EU countries in Slovenia. In addition, basic human and women’s rights must be protected and Afghanistan must not become a “new haven for terrorism”.

“Most people (…) will not be able to leave Afghanistan because of the border closures,” Maas said. “That’s why you have to help the people in Afghanistan now, and for that you have to talk to the Taliban.”

The SPD politician called on EU partners to unite on the issue. “There is a new reality in Afghanistan – whether we like it or not. And we don’t have time to heal the wounds now, ”he said. If the European Union wanted to play a role, it was necessary to act quickly now. Maas was alluding to the fact that China, for example, could expand its power and influence in the region.

EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell made a similar statement. “We will have to talk to them (…) in order to solve practical problems,” he admitted, referring to the new leaders in Afghanistan. This involves, among other things, getting the most vulnerable people out of the country. However, true political recognition can only be achieved if the Taliban acted in accordance with EU values, the Spaniard stressed. The exact conditions will now be discussed.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) said he expected “very clear common language”. There is clearly no leap of faith, but rather an “act of trust” in the Taliban. On the issue of recognition, he said: “It makes a difference whether we have talks with them at a technical level or recognize them as the legitimate representative of the Afghan state.

Schallenberg also spoke again against the EU’s acceptance of Afghans wishing to flee. “I believe (…) that we have to be careful of the signals we send to the region,” he warned.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn criticized the fact that some EU governments believed that Europe could only exist if it had as few refugees as possible. “In this situation, we must be ready to help the Afghans who are fighting for their lives,” he said. Europe must of course welcome people.

The Baltic states and Poland have called for greater engagement against attempts by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to take revenge on EU sanctions by smuggling migrants from countries like Iraq and the United Kingdom. Afghanistan. Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said much tougher punitive measures are now needed. For example, you should target tourism organizations.

Foreign ministers’ deliberations will continue this Friday. At the end of the meeting, dealing with China should also be a topic. The backdrop to this bloc of talks is mainly Beijing’s efforts to secure power and influence in other parts of the world with massive investments. In addition, the EU remains concerned about the military arming of the People’s Republic and the repression of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.

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