US, EU reject interim Taliban government

The US, EU have termed the caretaker government unveiled by the Taliban in Afghanistan as failing to honour vows from the new rulers to include different groups, while Washington underlined the Taliban would have to earn legitimacy from the world, foreign media reported.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that the Taliban would have to earn legitimacy from the world, after talks with allies on how to present a united front to the hardline new government in Afghanistan. The Taliban seek international legitimacy.

Any legitimacy  any support  will have to be earned, Blinken told reporters at the US air base in Ramstein, Germany, after leading a 20-nation ministerial meeting on the Afghan crisis. Among the countries that participated in the virtual meeting were European allies and Pakistan. US officials have stressed that any official recognition of a Taliban government is far off.

Blinken and Maas both criticised the caretaker government, which has no women or non-Taliban members and includes an interior minister the United States wants to arrest on terrorism accusations. Blinken said the caretaker cabinet would be judged by its actions, while his German counterpart added he was not optimistic.

Sanding alongside him, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the international community expected the Taliban to uphold human rights, including those of women, grant access to humanitarian aid and allow those wishing to leave the country to do so. Voicing concern about the government’s composition.

German Foreign Minister said he saw little reason for optimism about conditions in Afghanistan. “The announcement of a transitional government without the participation of other groups, and yesterday’s violence against demonstrators and journalists in Kabul, are not signals that give cause for optimism,” he said. Maas said, however, that Germany was willing to keep talking to the Taliban in a bid to ensure more people were able to leave the country, hit by food shortages and a halt in international payments.

Maas said he believed talks were the starting point for international coordination on how to deal with the Taliban. The European Union said the caretaker government unveiled by the Taliban in Afghanistan failed to honour vows from the new rulers to include different groups.

Upon initial analysis of the names announced, it does not look like the inclusive and representative formation in terms of the rich ethnic and religious diversity of Afghanistan we hoped to see and that the Taliban were promising over the past weeks, an EU spokesperson said.The nations have set out five conditions for increasing their engagement with the Taliban  including the formation of an inclusive and representative transitional government.

The spokesperson for the bloc said that such inclusivity and representation is expected in the composition of a future transitional government, and as result of negotiations. Foreign ministers from 20 nations are to hold talks on Wednesday led by the top diplomats from the US and Germany that could deal with how to approach the new administration.

The West has been scrambling to work out a way forward on Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the wake of the US-led withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.Similarly, in Tokyo, a top official said Japan was monitoring the actions of the Taliban and would keep up co-operation with the United States and other countries, while expressing concern over the safety of citizens in Afghanistan.

Through various efforts, including practical dialogue with the Taliban, we are doing the utmost to ensure safety of Japanese nationals and for local staff who remain, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato. He also promised support for Japanese who wanted to leave the south Asian nation.

Earlier speaking from Germany during a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of United States-allied nations, Blinken outlined three objectives of US policy towards Afghanistan following the completed withdrawal of American troops from the country.The new Taliban-led Afghan government must live up to its commitments to allow safe passage for those looking to leave Afghanistan, US Secretary of State said.

Enabling the departures of people seeking to leave, preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base, and ensuring a flow of humanitarian assistance top the Biden administration’s agenda, Blinken said. We must hold the Taliban, including the recently announced caretaker government and any eventual.

Afghan government, to their commitment to allow foreign nationals, visa holders, and Afghans to travel outside the country if they wish, he said. The Taliban has said repeatedly that any Afghans who want to travel and have the appropriate documents will be able to do so.

He specifically urged the Taliban to allow the departure of charter flights seeking to evacuate American citizens and vulnerable Afghans from the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. According to reports, hundreds of people have been waiting for clearance to leave the airport there for several days.

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