EU Hoping to Restore its Diplomatic Mission in Kabul

In an effort to establish ties with the new Taliban administration, the European Union (EU) wants to reconstitute its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan in the coming months. Brussels will return to Kabul to coordinate relief efforts and the ongoing evacuation of Afghans. 

This decision comes as the international community considers how to cope with the country’s new administration. The bloc has declared that it will take a “measured approach” to the group, pursuing dialogue with it but refusing to recognize it. 

Last month, the EU sent an exploratory team to Afghanistan to see if sending ambassadors back to Kabul would be feasible, in the hopes of securing a one-billion-euro regional aid package. Nabila Massrali, the EU’s spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, noted that a final decision on the security provision has yet to be made. 

The European Commission provided a €1 billion help package for Afghans and neighboring countries earlier this month during a virtual G20 conference to address urgent humanitarian needs. The socio-economic situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating, placing hundreds of thousands of Afghans at risk as winter approaches. The news comes as the EU’s total development aid to Afghanistan remains suspended. 

The United States has not released Afghanistan’s frozen assets yet but has indicated that it is committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to Afghan nationals and that the Taliban must help with the distribution process. US Deputy Finance Minister Wally Adeyemo emphasized the need of sustaining pressure on the Taliban, stressing that the Afghan people should not be hurt. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, and the country has been devastated by humanitarian and economic disasters since then.