“The world will change,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier says of the Taliban takeover. And there are “bitter questions” that now need to be answered.

Berlin (dpa) – Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan will have long-term political consequences worldwide.

“Today we are experiencing a human tragedy, for which we share responsibility, and a political turning point that will shake us and change the world,” said the head of state in Berlin.

Germany must now do everything possible to bring her own compatriots and the Afghans, who have been by her side for years, to safety. “In addition, we must work with our allies to find ways to help those now threatened by violence or death in Afghanistan, including many courageous women.”

Steinmeier emphasized: “The images of despair at Kabul airport are embarrassing for the political West. All the more we must stand behind those to whom we are obligated by their work and support for their commitment.”

Steinmeier said the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and its armed forces, as well as the Taliban’s takeover of rule without resistance, “casts a long shadow.”

“The failure of our longstanding efforts in Afghanistan to build a stable, sustainable community raises fundamental questions about the past and future of our foreign policy and military commitment,” the former foreign minister said.

There are “bitter questions” that must be answered honestly and thoroughly. The answers must also be sought together in the Western alliance. “Because without this alliance and the solidarity in the alliance, we would not have gone to Afghanistan twenty years ago.”