EU back in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover
The European Union (EU) has become the first Western institution to “re-establish” its presence in Afghanistan after the EU member states and other nations abandoned the country ahead of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August.
“The EU has started to re-establish a minimal presence of international EU Delegation staff to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and monitor the humanitarian situation,” European Commission Foreign Affairs Spokesman Peter Stano confirmed.
The Taliban tweeted ahead of the EU’s statement that the EU had “officially opened its embassy with a permanent presence in Kabul & practically commenced operations” after “reaching an understanding” between the bloc and militant group.
Despite returning to the Middle Eastern country, the EU refused to recognize the Taliban-led administration as the official government of Afghanistan, calling them the “de facto authorities.”
The move from the European Commission comes as the Norwegian Foreign Ministry has invited Taliban representatives to Oslo to hold talks with the international community and Afghan civil society members.
“These meetings do not represent a legitimization or recognition of the Taliban. But we must talk to the de facto authorities in the country. We cannot allow the political situation to lead to an even worse humanitarian disaster,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.
The Taliban addressed the planned visit on Friday, stating that a senior delegation led by Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi will leave for Oslo on Saturday.