Afghanistan: lead MEPs demand safe departure of EU nationals and Afghan partners and urgent tackling of humanitarian crisis

(Source: European Parliament)

After the dramatic developments of the last days and hours, leading MEPs issued the following statement on Monday.

“We deeply deplore the recent political, military and moral calamity in Afghanistan and express our deep concerns about the situation. The hasty withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country without a condition base and the shocking collapse of Afghan institutions and its security forces allowed the Taliban to take over the country in an unexpectedly rapid way.

At this critical and dramatic moment, humanitarian action prevails over everything. We urgently call upon all parties to secure and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country. The departure through Kabul airport must be assured by all means. We bear a moral responsibility for those who have worked for the EU’s entities, for NATO partners and other international and civil society organisations. We urge those in positions of power and authority in Afghanistan to abstain from violence and respect basic human rights and international humanitarian law, and the achievements of the last 20 years in the fields of women’s and girls’ rights, the right of education, health care and social and economic development.

The EU, together with other partners, needs to tackle urgently the humanitarian crisis in the country and the region, caused by conflict, displacement, food insecurity, droughts and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is in our own interest to prevent another migration crisis. The EU needs to develop a new Strategy for Afghanistan and the region taking into account the new circumstances, considering that Russia and China will quickly try to fill the political vacuum. In particular, Pakistan, Iran and India should be urged to play a constructive role in Afghanistan.”

David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Tomas Tobé, Chair of the Committee on Development

Petras Auštrevičius, Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan

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