Talking evacuations with Taliban is not recognition: Macron

Emmanuel Macron. — AFP file
Emmanuel Macron. — AFP file

Paris - He says Taliban needed to respect humanitarian law by allowing those who qualify for asylum to leave


Published: Sun 29 Aug 2021, 11:28 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said discussions France is having with the Taliban over the evacuation of nationals and persons in danger in Afghanistan does not indicate recognition of the group as the country’s new rulers.

France and other Western states have in the last days revealed they are talking with the Taliban, following the group’s takeover of Kabul this month, over how to extract people, even after the pullout of US and other foreign troops.

“We have operations to carry out in Afghanistan — the evacuations. The Taliban are the ones in control... we have to have these discussions from a practical point of view. This does not mean there will be recognition,” Macron told TF1 television during a visit to Iraq.

“We have set conditions,” said Macron, outlining three key areas.

He said the Taliban needed to respect humanitarian law by allowing those who qualify for asylum to leave, and also take a “very clear line” against all terror movements.

“If they make pacts with terrorist movements present in Afghanistan and the region then that will clearly be unacceptable for us all.”

He said the third area was human rights and “in particularly respect for the dignity of Afghan women”.

France evacuated some 3,000 people from Afghanistan before winding up its operation at the weekend. But Macron said there could be hundreds or thousands still in need of evacuation by France.

Macron said he could not promise the talks would result in more people being evacuated, while singling out the help of Qatar, which has good relations with the Taliban as well as Paris.

“The objective is to obtain the humanitarian evacuations of all women and men who are at risk... Will we get there? I can’t guarantee that,” he said.

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