The European Union intends to set up a representation in Kabul to maintain contacts with the Taliban. There is no recognition of the new regime in Afghanistan for the time being, but the EU wants to talk to the Taliban under five conditions.
The embassies of the EU countries in Kabul were evacuated and closed after Taliban had taken the Afghan capital without a fight.
“As soon as it is safe enough, for now, an EU-representation of go back”, says Borrell, after consultation with the foreign minister Sigrid Kaag, and her EU counterparts.
In order to allow talks with the EU, the Taliban must allow the people who want to leave the country free passage, the ministers agreed. The open borders should not only allow them to leave Afghanistan, but also allow humanitarian aid to enter the country. Borrell calls this the most important issue at the moment.
Furthermore, the Taliban must share power with other groups and form an “inclusive” government. They must also respect human rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law. Finally, Afghanistan must not become a base for terrorists who are targeting the West again.
“Some will say: Oh, but the Taliban will not abide by that”, Borrell defended himself in advance against comment. “We’ll see. We will judge their behaviour by these five measures.” Slovenia’s foreign minister, currently chairing the Council of EU ministers, has already pointed out that the EU can use the many millions in development aid to Afghanistan to put pressure on the Taliban.