Taliban's Afghanistan takeover biggest event since Crimea: EU's Josep Borrell

Published on Aug 19, 2021 05:05 PM IST
  • Borrell reiterated that the EU was being forced to "establish channels of communication" with the Taliban to ensure the evacuation of its nationals and Afghan staff and their families.
A Taliban fighter stands guard atop a vehicle near the site of an Ashura procession which is held to mark the death of Imam Hussein.(AFP)
A Taliban fighter stands guard atop a vehicle near the site of an Ashura procession which is held to mark the death of Imam Hussein.(AFP)
AFP |

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is the most important geopolitical event since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, the EU's foreign policy chief said on Thursday.

Josep Borrell told the European Parliament major worries included a possible surge in refugees and increasing complexity in Central Asia -- with Turkey, China and Russia all vying to increase their influence in the region.

Borrell reiterated that the EU was being forced to "establish channels of communication" with the Taliban to ensure the evacuation of its nationals and Afghan staff and their families.

"Yes, we have to talk with the Taliban but that doesn't mean recognition," he said.

Borrell said the collapse of the Western-backed regime in Afghanistan was "the most important geopolitical event since the Crimea annexation by Russia" in 2014.

The 27-nation EU will now have to extend a "diplomatic reach-out" to Iran, Pakistan and India to manage the fallout, Borrell said.

"Current developments are going to have a wide-ranging impact on regional international security," he said, adding that Brussels planned to work with the US and other allies to develop "a common approach".

Borrell's comments to the European Parliament's foreign affairs and development committees were made a day before an emergency videolink meeting of NATO foreign ministers to discuss Afghanistan and the consequences.

Most of NATO's 30 member states are EU countries.

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