Afghanistan today, October 28, 2021

Le Monde continues to provide the best continuous coverage of what is going on in Afghanistan, from the big picture point of view.


Jean-Pierre Stroobants(Bruxelles, bureau européen) et Jacques Follorou, “Tiraillements au sein de l’Union européenne sur l’attitude à l’égard des talibans; Le haut représentant pour la politique étrangère, Josep Borrell, soutenu notamment par l’Allemagne, est partisan d’une présence humanitaire de l’UE en Afghanistan. Paris et Copenhague sont réticents,” Le Monde, le 28 octobre 2021 (15h00, mis à jour à 19h24).

Stroobants and Follorou report on divisions within the EU regarding the reestablishment of an EU presence in Kabul. Josep Borrell, the EU High Commisioner for Foreign Affairs, has announced the UE is sending a small group of technical experts to discuss humanitarian aid, stressing that its action in no way implies any kind of recognition of the Taliban government.

Borrell favors opening a diplomatic office to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid and the departure Afghans who are in danger. Germany and the Netherlands support this approach. The Germans are even considering reopening their embassy in Kabul.

France and Denmark are critical of this approach, arguing that even humanitarian assistance will help the Taliban stabilize the situation in the country without acceding to the EU’s conditions that they respect human rights in order to receive such assistance.

This is the dilemma facing the EU and the international community:

The Taliban have been inflexible in their resistance to demands they respect human rights, on the one hand, and millions of people in Afghanistan are at risk of starvation if humanitarian assistance is not quickly provided, before the winter sets in and makes many locations inaccessible, on the other.

The situation is urgent.

The Trenchant Observer