EU message to Taliban

Brussels 21.07.2021 “The EU supports an inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process leading to a negotiated political settlement” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell writes concluding his visit to Central Asia.

“This requires the Taliban to commit to a negotiated settlement. For this to happen, all concerned – neighbouring countries, the EU and all international partners – have to be clear and frank in our messages to the Taliban. We must spell out the consequences of their chosen course of action, including for the EU’s engagement” the diplomat continues.

“A military takeover by the Taliban, or attempts to restore an Islamic Emirate are unacceptable – to a majority of Afghans, to the countries in the region and to the international community. It would lead to non-recognition and isolation. Future support to Afghanistan by its international partners, including the EU, is and will remain conditional on the preservation of the democratic progress of the last twenty years. This includes the respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, including the rights of women and the protection of minorities, as well as the strengthening of state institutions and the fight against corruption”.

On July 21 The Taliban said they would fight only to defend themselves over the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, but stopped short of declaring a formal ceasefire. The militants are waging offensives across the country, expanding their control, seizing border crossings and encircling cities, with the withdrawal of foreign troops all but complete.

“I can confirm we are in defence status during Eid,” a spokesman for the Taliban told AFP, without delivering further information.

Eid al-Adha is one of the biggest festivals on the Muslim calendar, and sees livestock sacrificed to share the meals with the less privileged. In Afghanistan, celebrations started this Monday, July 19 and will run to the end of Friday, July 23.

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