Wednesday January 19, 2022

Taliban seek EU’s help to keep airports functional

November 30, 2021
Taliban seek EU’s help to keep airports functional

BRUSSELS: Taliban asked for help in keeping Afghanistan’s airports running in weekend talks with EU officials that also raised "grave concern" about the humanitarian situation in their country, according to an EU statement late on Sunday.

Both sides sent senior officials to the Qatari capital Doha for the talks, which happened just ahead of two weeks of negotiations between the US and Taliban due to start on Monday, also in Doha.

The EU´s European External Action Service (EEAS) said in its statement that "the dialogue does not imply recognition by the EU of the interim (Taliban) government but is part of EU´s operational engagement, in the interest of the EU and the Afghan people”.

The Taliban delegation was led by interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi, accompanied by the interim ministers for education and health, the acting central bank governor, and officials from the foreign, finance and interior ministries and the intelligence directorate. The EU side was headed by the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Tomas Niklasson, with officials from the EEAS and the European Commission’s service handling humanitarian aid, international partnerships and migration.