Europe and The UK react to Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Migration fears worry European Union as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan

By-Tanay

Delhi

As Afghanistan’s capital Kabul is taken over by the Taliban, President Ashraf Ghani leaves the country. He fled the country to prevent a ‘flood of bloodshed’ as described in a Facebook post by him.

UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said that no one should bilaterally recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan. He adds they want a like-minded position on the matter as far as they can, so they can prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into the terror group’s hands.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas announced the country would be sending military aircraft to Afghanistan for evacuation of support staff, local helpers, and officials. Maas also said the country would do everything in their power to help officials who are currently in a secure location in Kabul airport but the circumstances under which these things will happen remains hard to predict.

French like Germany too is speeding up its evacuation process as foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says the first evacuation will be to the United Arab Emirates and also promising full mobilization of people threatened.

Spain too said it will be sending planes to Dubai for the first phase of the evacuation of embassy staff and local Afghans who helped Spain over the years. Foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares said they will help locals and EU personnel alike and not leave anyone behind.

Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said that planes carrying 46 Czechs and locals with their families landed in the country on Monday morning. Ukraine’s foreign minister said that Ukraine was helping the EU with the evacuation process and that Ukraine helped evacuate citizens of other EU countries like the Netherlands, Croatia, Belarus, and Afghanistan as well. He further says they don’t abandon their own people and help others and reassured his helping hand to all foreigners and Ukrainians alike if any request were to come his way.

Kabul’s airport is protected by American soldiers, thousands of them are the last way out for anyone wanting to leave. Although Washington has warned its allies that it was looking to wrap up the evacuation process within 72 hours as per some reports. That converts to three days.

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Yet another problem worrying the capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban is an influx of migrants into the EU. The ministers of six EU countries including Austria, Germany, the Netherland, Greece, Belgium, and Denmark called for the continuation of deportation policy for Afghan people whose application has been rejected less than a week ago.

It is feared that the effects of migration could be felt in Europe as soon as the next few months. While some ministers in the European Union feel the pressure others think that Afghans don’t just flee Afghanistan because of favorable or unfavorable migration policies by the EU but because of the atrocities by the Taliban, hence continuation or no continuation shouldn’t have that big of an effect. The security and welfare systems stand to be overwhelmed if millions of Afghans enter Europe within the next month.  

Austria’s foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg says “the instability will spill over to Europe. Conflict and instability in the region will sooner or later spill over to Europe and thus to Austria”. 

Financial aid given by EU different projects and assistance in Afghanistan accounts for nearly 4 billion Euros. The troop deployment for different reasons be it helping US-led military operations to reach 150,000 military personnel. All the effort, money, and time invested is feared to be under threat under Taliban-led Afghanistan.

The EU’s foreign affairs ministers will discuss the situation in Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon via videoconference, said Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs.  

Afghanistan stands at a crossroad. Security and wellbeing of its citizens, as well as international security, are at play read Borell’s last tweet on the matter at hand. Aptly summing up the situation Europe stands in following one of the biggest political events of this year.