EU Foreign Ministers met in an informal meeting in Brdu pri Kranju (Gymnich).
The two-day event, hosted by Slovenian Foreign Minister Dr Anže Logar and chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, provided a platform for an open debate on the Union’s future efforts in Afghanistan and EU relations. -China With
In the discussion on Afghanistan, the convergence of views has led to a broad consensus based on the decisions reached earlier in the extraordinary sessions of the foreign and interior ministers. There can be no doubt that member states want to speak with one voice. “The unanimous message is clear: the events we witnessed in 2015 and 2016 should not be repeated,” said Dr. Logar.
He went on to explain that the ministers also exchanged views on how to engage in dialogue with the Taliban authorities in order to ensure an inclusive transitional government that will continue to respect human rights, especially women’s rights.
The future of Afghanistan remains a key issue for the EU. The EU remains committed to supporting the Afghan population, noted Josep Borrell.
He also stressed that engagement with Afghan authorities after taking over the Taliban will depend on meeting five standards: commitment that Afghanistan will not serve as a base for terrorism for other countries; respect for human rights, in particular women’s rights, the rule of law and freedom of the media; the creation of a comprehensive and representative transitional government through negotiations; free access to the transitional humanitarian and representative government through negotiations, free access to humanitarian aid, respecting the procedures and conditions of its distribution; allowing the evacuation of foreign nationals and at-risk Afghans wishing to leave the country in accordance with the calls made in UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) and the commitments of the Taliban themselves.
The first day of the ministerial meeting focused on a discussion about Afghanistan. The assembled ministers were initially addressed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and continued to think about the ongoing evacuation from Afghanistan of remaining EU citizens and Afghan staff, who provided support to enable the implementation of the European programs in the country. They stressed that to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and a possible wave of migration to Europe, the European Union must co-operate with Afghanistan’s neighbors and other key international actors. The ministers were unanimous on the urgent need for an agreement on the EU’s comprehensive strategy towards Afghanistan, which would include all security considerations from migration to the risk of terrorist attacks and the illicit drug trade.
The second day of the meeting featured a discussion on EU-China relations. The ministers agreed that unity between and a coordinated approach of all EU member states to China was of paramount importance. The potential renewal of EU engagement needs to be gradual, mandated and coordinated.
Following the discussions, Minister Dr Logar organized a working lunch with Indian Foreign Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Lunch gave EU foreign ministers an opportunity to discuss geopolitical and geoeconomic trends in the Indo-Pacific region, advocating the pursuit of closer partnerships between like-minded countries in the region, where India plays a dominant role.ibna