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Afghanistan: Taliban ask for EU help to keep airports functioning

New discussions. The Taliban have asked for the European Union’s help to keep Afghan airports functioning during talks this weekend in Doha, where they pledged to allow the departure of those who wish, the EU said on Sunday. .

“The Afghan delegation has confirmed its commitment to guarantee and facilitate the safe passage of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country,” the EU’s diplomatic service (EEAS) said in a statement. “In this regard, both sides stressed the fundamental importance of keeping Afghan airports open and the Afghan delegation requested assistance in maintaining airport operations,” EU diplomacy added.

The Taliban also pledged to keep their promise of a “general amnesty” for the Afghans who worked against them during the two decades of Western rule, until the hasty withdrawal of the United States in August, according to the document.

Negotiations with the United States

In addition, “the two parties have expressed serious concerns about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan as winter approaches,” said the press release, which specifies that the EU will continue to provide humanitarian aid. In particular, the EU urged the Taliban to establish an “inclusive government”, encourage democracy and ensure girls’ equal access to education. She also suggested that if the Taliban fulfilled the EU’s conditions, additional funding could be released, but only “for the direct benefit of the Afghan people”.

The Taliban reiterated that they would uphold human rights “in accordance with Islamic principles” and welcome the return of diplomatic missions that had been closed, the statement said. The EU specifies in the press release that “the dialogue does not imply the recognition by the EU of the interim government (Taliban) but is part of the operational commitment of the EU, in the interest of the EU and of the Afghan people ”.

The Taliban delegation was headed by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi and the EU delegation by Special Envoy for Afghanistan Tomas Niklasson. These discussions preceded two weeks of negotiations between the United States and the Taliban, scheduled from Monday, also in the Qatari capital.

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