Minister of Foreign Affairs Maas hopes for cooperation from the Taliban |

Islamabad (dpa) – After the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) is now hoping for the cooperation of the Taliban Islamist militants for the departure of those seeking to protect themselves.

During a visit to neighboring Pakistan on Tuesday, he stressed that the new leaders had promised safe conduct. “I think you will only see in the days and weeks to come if you can trust it,” he added.

With the withdrawal of the last American soldiers on Tuesday evening, military evacuation operations from Western states are finally over. The Bundeswehr transported more than 5,000 people, or nearly 120,000 in total. But Germany wants to get over 40,000 more people out of the country – by land via neighboring countries or by air direct from Kabul airport.

With both options, you have to rely on the Taliban, who once again control the airport and have checkpoints on the roads leading to the borders. The federal government therefore sent diplomat Markus Potzel to the emirate of the Gulf of Qatar to negotiate with representatives of the Taliban. In the capital Doha, the Taliban’s political office is practically the Taliban’s foreign ministry. Maas wanted to fly from the Pakistani capital Islamabad to Qatar in the afternoon, but did not want to speak to the Taliban himself.

The foreign minister expressed the hope that the airport would be operational again “within a reasonable time” and that charter flights could start from there. In order to organize the departure by land, Maas visited the three neighboring Afghan countries Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan during his trip.

After his meeting with Maas, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi recommended that the West give the Taliban a leap of faith and continue their commitment to the country. “We should be pushing them in the right direction.” Otherwise, there will be consequences. “Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past,” Qureshi said.

Maas also offered aid to Pakistan in the current crisis situation and stressed that Germany is keen to provide € 500 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and neighboring countries. The money is also intended for the care of refugees. Pakistan has hosted millions of Afghan refugees over the past 40 years. There are currently around 1.4 million registered. In addition, an estimated 600,000 other refugees are unregistered. At this time, however, Pakistan does not wish to accept further refugees. “It’s not a question of money, (…) it’s a question of capacity,” Qureshi said.

After the withdrawal of US troops, Maas also called for a better understanding of the objectives before future military operations. Military operations are not suited “to export a long-term form of government,” he said. The attempt failed in Afghanistan and lessons must be learned. However, military interventions are suitable to end a terrorist threat, war or human rights violation.

With the withdrawal of the last American soldiers, a 20-year international military operation, in which the Bundeswehr was also involved, came to an end. NATO troops in Afghanistan were supposed to stabilize the country and fought the Taliban, who have now returned to power.

Related Articles

Back to top button