EU: No recognition, no political talks to Taliban

The militants will be judged upon deeds, not words, she insisted

Photo: EU Ursula von der Leyen

The EU has not recognised the Taliban, nor is it holding political talks with them, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday, cited by news agencies. The EC president spoke after visiting a reception centre in Madrid for Afghan employees of EU institutions evacuated from Kabul.

Von der Leyen said she would propose an increase in the 57 million euros in humanitarian aid which the Commission had allocated this year for Afghanistan. She said EU development aid is tied to respect of human rights, good treatment of minorities and respect for the rights of women and girls.

"We may well hear the Taliban's words but we will measure them above all by their deeds and actions," von der Leyen told a news conference. She said the Commission was ready to provide funding to EU countries which help resettle refugees, and she planned to raise the resettlement issue at a G7 meeting next week.

Von der Leyenalso said the continuance of European humanitarian aid to Afghanistan will hinge on the Taliban respecting human rights, especially for women and girls. “We hear the Taliban statement that stresses that women will have their right place in society and have the right to study and work, within the framework of Islam, whatever that means. But we also hear more and more reports of people being hunted down for their past work or opinions, and we hear of women being turned away when they show up at their usual workplace,” she said. “The 1 billion euros set aside by the EU for the next seven years for development aid is tied to strict conditions: respect for human rights, good treatment of minorities, and respect for the rights of women and girls.”

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