Maas warns Taliban about building caliphate in Afghanistan | free press

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If the extremists establish a caliphate, there will be “not a cent” in German development aid, the foreign minister warns. The Taliban are taking more and more provincial capitals.

Berlin (AP) – Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has warned the advancing Taliban in Afghanistan against establishing a caliphate in the disputed country.

Then there will be “not a cent” of German development aid, which currently amounts to about 430 million euros per year, Maas said in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. “The Taliban know that too.” He thinks the Islamists will join and dominate the government in Afghanistan. It is then crucial what the future constitution of the country will look like and what rights will be for the people.

The important provincial capital of Gasni in southeastern Afghanistan fell to the militant Islamist Taliban on Thursday. This was confirmed by three provincial councilors from the German news agency. The strategically important city is located less than 150 kilometers from the capital Kabul.

Maas indicates progress

The withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from the country was a result of the withdrawal of the US, Maas emphasized. Military engagement would make no sense without the US armed forces and outside of NATO.

He did defend the progress made by the deployment of the Bundeswehr and its international partners in Afghanistan, for example in the areas of life expectancy, child mortality and average income. “This must be preserved,” said the foreign minister.