Kabul (AP) – After taking power in Afghanistan, the Taliban held the first talks with other influential political forces in the country.
Former President Hamid Karzai and the head of the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, spoke with senior Taliban member Anas Hakkani on Wednesday. A Karzai employee said afterwards that plans and further meetings had been discussed when the political leadership of the Taliban movement arrived in Kabul. The situation around the airport in the capital Kabul remained confusing. Hundreds of people stayed there, eyewitnesses from the German news agency reported.
After their capture and the flight of President Ashraf Ghani, the Taliban effectively took power in the country on Sunday. The ex-president who fled has now found shelter in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many Afghans fear a return to the reign of terror of the Islamists of the 1990s, in which, for example, women were excluded from public life and the ideas of the Islamists were enforced with barbaric punishments.
Taliban are open
On Tuesday, the Taliban spokesman said other political forces would also be involved in the power. The heads of state and government of the G7 of major industrialized countries want to discuss next week during a video conference how to proceed.
Exactly how the country will be governed in the future, what a government will look like, what name and structure it should have, is still unknown. According to spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban leadership is currently “seriously” working on it. But the people of the country are afraid of the Taliban. Children, women and men were in the streets around the Kabul airport on Wednesday, hoping to leave the country.
However, the airport was only operational to a limited extent. Countless western countries are trying to get their citizens and local workers from Afghanistan to safety. In addition to Germany, other countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy and France also flew hundreds of people out of the country on Wednesday.
EU debate on refugees
A possible increase in Afghan refugees is already dividing the EU. Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer of the conservative ÖVP spoke out in favor of local aid and deportation centers should also be set up in the neighboring region of Afghanistan. “The goal should be to keep the majority of people in the region.” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, on the other hand, called for quotas for refugees from EU countries. “We need quotas for refugees from Afghanistan who can legally come to Europe,” he told the editorial network Germany. Looking at what his colleague Nehammer said, the Luxembourger said: “That is terrible. It is to despair. Such populist phrases only arouse fear.”
The World Health Organization warned that the medical problems of refugees in Afghanistan are increasing. Clinics in Kabul and other Afghan cities have seen an increasing number of cases of diarrhoea, malnutrition, high blood pressure and corona symptoms. There are also pregnancy complications.
The international community insisted that the rights of women and girls in particular be protected. “Afghan women and girls, like all Afghans, deserve to live in safety, security and dignity,” said a joint statement by the EU, the US, Britain and other countries.