The European Union will open another diplomatic post in Afghanistan in a few weeks. After that, the Netherlands and other Member States can join, the EU’s foreign affairs chief said.
When the Taliban overran the Afghan capital Kabul last summer, the Dutch and other European embassies left in a hurry. But soon, the attempts to return there began. “We want to be able to help better the Afghan people who need our help by being closer,” said a spokesman for foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.
The opening of a diplomatic post is “a matter of weeks, not months,” the spokesman said. Representation remains “minimal” and does not mean that the EU recognizes the Taliban government as the legal authority in Afghanistan, she underlines. But “inevitably we must maintain contact with the de facto authorities”.
Outgoing minister Ben Knapen (Foreign Affairs) says that he has not yet decided whether the Netherlands will join this. There needs to be more clarity about the new post first. “But we have always said that if the European Union opens such an office, we are seriously interested in seeing whether we can do this,” says Knapen. After the takeover of power by the Taliban, the Dutch embassy in Kabul has been temporarily relocated to Qatar.