International

‘Will depend on their behaviour’: White House says US in no rush to recognize Taliban

By PTI

WASHINGTON: The US or several countries are in no hurry to recognize the Taliban, the White House said, adding that such a move would depend on what they expect from the global community.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “The United States or any country we’ve talked to around the world is in no hurry to recognize it. It will depend on their behavior and whether they live up to the expectations of the global community.” Will come true.” told reporters at his daily news conference on Wednesday.

In a separate news conference, the State Department expressed the same view.

“We will continue to have a dialogue that serves our interests as well as our allies and partners,” Victoria J Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told reporters.

“But the first thing we want is to see them fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Charter, as well as the public statements they themselves have made about their expectation for an Afghanistan that is human rights.” respects international law, allows international citizens and Afghanistan to leave,” she said in response to a question.

He said the US apparently had contacts with the Taliban during the withdrawal.

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“What we had during this effort was that we were trying to midwife a conversation. Those conversations have continued to deepen to enable evacuation – what we did, and safe passage, etc., and tolerance. To try to obtain guarantees, Nuland said, and to talk about the standard set out in a UN Security Council resolution to talk about the terrorist threat, because the expectation is that they will protect Afghanistan’s security. Claims to be able to control.

He said the United States stood by the latest UN Security Council resolution.

“They are the hopes of the international community and the hopes of the UNSC for the Taliban-led government, and the way it will govern, and the way it will interact with the international system,” she said.

“I think we need to see them living up to their commitments and meeting the standards set by the UNSC before we go too far down this road,” he said.

He said America’s relationship with the Taliban will be guided by what they don’t say.

“Now, there are some urgent questions, such as the humanitarian condition of the people of Afghanistan.”

“So, we’re looking at those kinds of things, how can we continue to provide humanitarian aid without benefiting any government,” she said.

Nuland said, “Things like this are natural. But we haven’t made a decision about the rest of it, and we certainly won’t until we see the behavior expected in the UN Security Council resolution.” “

Responding to questions at the White House, Saki said that no one had anticipated that the Taliban would be able to capture the country as quickly or that Afghan national security forces would fold as quickly.

She was answering questions on the tape of a phone call between President Joe Biden and his then Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani in July, during which both leaders were completely unaware that the Taliban would take over.

“The message the President has consistently conveyed, and I have noted an example publicly, is that the Afghan leadership needed to do exactly that at the time, the leadership. They needed to come together in a united way. They needed to unite. was needed,” she said.

“They needed to show the country and the Afghan people, they were going to fight and they were going to lead through this transition, even with the US military gone,” Saki said.

Meanwhile, the collapse of Afghanistan’s government, the Taliban’s takeover of the country, and the flurry of evacuation of European citizens and Afghan staff have highlighted the need for the EU’s own rapid response military force, senior EU officials say.

Read also | Qatar jet carrying technical team in Kabul to discuss resumption of flights with Taliban: Sources

As foreign and defense ministers of member states gather in Slovenia this week to discuss the EU’s approach to the Afghan crisis, officials said in interviews and public comments that the 27-nation bloc on UStroops during the evacuation airlift The dependence of the European Union demonstrated the lack of preparedness and independence.

“As a global economic and democratic power, can Europe be satisfied with a situation where we are unable to ensure the evacuation of our citizens and those in danger because they have helped us?” European Council President Charles Michel said this on Wednesday.

“In my view, we do not need another geopolitical event to understand that the EU should strive for greater decision-making autonomy and greater capacity for action in the world.”

When the Biden administration pulled most of its military personnel from Afghanistan, Taliban militants took control of the conflict-torn country in a matter of weeks with NATO-trained Afghan national security forces withered.

NATO allies who depended on US airpower, transportation and logistics during their two decades in Afghanistan said they were also forced to pull out.

And without American support and equipment, European countries would not have been able to guarantee the safe passage of their citizens or even their troops from Afghanistan.

As for “European strategic autonomy” from a non-member such as the United States, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in an opinion piece for The New York Times on Wednesday that the withdrawal of Western troops and the airlift from Afghanistan as one should work in wake-up call” and urged Block to invest more in its security capabilities.

“Europe and the United States were as united in Afghanistan as before: this was the first time that Article 5 of NATO, committed all members to the defense of each other. And for many years, Europeans held a strong military commitment and provided a significant economic aid programme, amounting to a total of 17.2 billion euros or $20.3 billion,” Borrell wrote.

The EU’s top diplomat said, “But in the end, the timing and nature of the return was determined in Washington. We Europeans determined ourselves not only to get out of Kabul airport, but more broadly based on American decisions.” apparently found.”

To better address any future crises at Europe’s doorstep, EU member states have floated the idea of ​​setting up a 5,000-member stand-by-force that is able to intervene quickly.

“It’s a number that could make a big difference in many different situations,” a senior EU official said this week.

The person spoke anonymously in accordance with EU practices.

He said the US has deployed some 5,000 troops to guard Kabul airport and cited the example of a 5,000-strong anti-jihadist French force based in the Sahel region.

France and Germany have pushed for the creation of such a force for years, with both Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly calling for a true European army.

While discussions about establishing one are far from complete, the idea has found renewed support in the wake of what happened in Afghanistan.

Spain’s top military official, Chief of Staff Teodoro López Calderón, told El Mundo newspaper in an interview published on Wednesday that the EU’s reliance on the US has been “absolute” and that the bloc needs a military to become a relevant player on the international stage. Strength must be developed. Scene.

“If not, it never will be,” he said.

“To create a European army means a common foreign policy and we all have the same interests. It is a political leap that still needs to be achieved. But I do not think there is any doubt that Brussels should increase its military capability .. that is one of the important consequences of what happened in Afghanistan.”

Read also | Number of working women journalists in Kabul has dropped below 100 since Taliban takeover: Watchdog

Jan Puglierin, security and defense policy expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank, said that since the United States is no longer interested in serving as the “policeman of the world”, there has been increased pressure on Europeans to step up. .

“In the future, the EU will need to increase its contribution to crisis prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding,” Puglierin said.

“The Afghanistan mission has forcefully demonstrated to the Europeans how reliant they are on American capabilities.”

The idea of ​​a European military force first came into discussion in the 1990s with the Balkan wars surrounding the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia.

Subsequently, the European Union set a military goal of having at the bloc’s disposal 60,000 troops capable of deployment within 60 days.

Instead, the EU later created rapid reaction teams of about 1,500 personnel, but they were never used in a major crisis, and the bloc does not deploy EU missions to active conflict zones.

Another senior EU official said that the military force currently discussed will be too large. than the current standby forces if member countries reach a consensus.

He said the troops would train and exercise together, and part of the cost would be covered through common funding.

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