Sunday, December 5

European diplomatic offensive to prevent the disintegration of the Afghan state


Correspondent in Berlin

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The NATO countries confirmed this Friday their intention to intensify rescue missions from Kabul airport as much as possible, while they wait to buy time to establish lines of communication with the Taliban that allow them to set more long-term objectives. The Secretary General of NATO, Jens StoltenbergAfter the meeting he held with the Alliance’s foreign ministers, he acknowledged that the US maintains August 31 as the end of operations and that “only at that moment” will determine who remains to be evacuated and who else they owe. essential to rescue his troops. There are other countries, however, ready to extend the air bridges for longer. “As long as evacuation operations continue, we will maintain our close operational cooperation through allied military means at Hamdi Karzai International Airport,” he promised to the tens of thousands of people who still hope to get on the rescue planes. . “Our goal is to get out of our staff, people who have worked for NATO, allies and partner countries, but also Afghans in distress, and we are working very hard to help the Afghan people. We have already managed to get enough and we will continue working to get more, “he insisted.

And while the evacuations drag on, international diplomacy services are looking for ways to establish a relationship of influence with the Taliban without recognizing their legitimacy in the government of Afghanistan. The most pragmatic in this sense is the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which today admitted that “now it will be necessary to dialogue with the Taliban (…) and try to save the lives of those who are threatened, so that they can leave the country.” Merkel was “annoyed” with the change of power in the Central Asian country and regretted that “the Taliban have received more external support than we would have liked”, but in the interests of pragmatism she stressed that the absolute priority is now to help those who cooperated with Germany during the twenty years that the mission in Afghanistan lasted, “to give them refuge in Germany and get as many people out of there as possible in the next few days.” Your next goal, as urgent as it is important, is the fight against terrorism. He recalled that since 9/11 “the situation with terrorism in Afghanistan has worsened since then and the international community must continue to fight the rebirth of that terrorism in Afghanistan.”

Merkel made these observations in the Kremlim palace, where for the last time she officially visited the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, before the German elections on September 26 to which she is no longer running. Afghanistan took the absolute leading role in the agenda of this last trip and Merkel did everything possible to involve Putin in the international diplomatic effort, knowing that Russia maintains influential contacts with them. Putin’s response to their pleas was tepid. The Russian president called to prevent the disintegration of the Afghan state after the Taliban take power and warned against any outside interference in the country. “The Taliban movement today controls practically the entire territory of the country, including the capital,” he said, “this is reality and we must start from it without allowing, without a doubt, the disintegration of the Afghan state.” Putin made a heated criticism of the imposition of democratic values to third countries by the West, a policy that it called “irresponsible” because it ignores the traditions and wishes of those peoples. “We have already seen what happened with the Arab Spring and now with Afghanistan,” he repeated, “all our partners must make this a universal rule, treat governments with respect and arm yourself with patience, whether they like it or not. ” In Putin’s view, the West now has no choice but to “give the people the right to decide for themselves their own destiny, regardless of how long it takes them to travel the path of democratization”, rather than “impose experiments” that “They never succeeded.”

In other times, nobody better than Merkel to obtain at least some gesture from Putin, from among the European leaders. But with the eternal chancellor already leaving the government, the EU this time sent successive missions to try to sensitize Putin, which fell on the French Emmanuel Macron and the Italian Mario Draghi, who enjoys a reputation among European partners for his passage by the ECB and who also had a telephone conversation with the Russian president. Both insisted on the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that forces to try to rescue as many Afghans as possible. Macron and Draghi obtained from Putin just a declaration of readiness to help establish peace and stability in Afghanistan through cooperation, including efforts made within the framework of the UN Security Council and the G20.

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