European Leaders Calls For Unity In The Fight Against The Taliban But Remains Silent On The Failed Mission

LONDON — European leaders said Monday that they will push for a united international approach to dealing with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, as they saw the country’s two-decade-long Western war crumble.

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, talked with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, emphasizing the need of taking a united stance on both recognizing any future Afghan government and preventing a humanitarian and refugee disaster.

Both leaders promised to work together in the United Nations Security Council, and Johnson announced that a virtual conference of the Group of Seven leaders on Afghanistan will be held in the coming days. “We don’t want anyone to bilaterally recognize the Taliban,” Johnson said on Sunday.

The spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated that attitude on Monday, stating that the subject of whether or not there can be a conversation with the Taliban should be considered globally.

The spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, stated, “We have no illusions about the Taliban and the core of their cause.”

However, British and European leaders have so far remained silent on Afghanistan, and their hands are tied in a number of ways: they have little leverage over the Taliban, and they are wary of publicly criticizing the United States, their powerful NATO ally, or commenting on their own role in the failed intervention.

After President Joe Biden declared in April that the US will terminate its engagement in the war by September, 20 years after the 9/11 attacks, NATO nations were left with little choice but to withdraw the roughly 7,000 non-American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.

Britain, which contributed the second-largest number of troops to the mission for much of the war, was “especially upset” that the Biden administration “didn’t consult it more fully about the decision to withdraw this summer,” according to Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general of London’s Royal United Services Institute.

“That is water under the bridge, but the lack of a concerted coalition reaction to the withdrawal makes it much more critical today to coordinate a Western response — beginning with the issue of recognition “He predicted the formation of a Taliban administration.

Last Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the Taliban “must realize that if they seize the country by force, they would not be recognized by the international community.” Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy head, has warned that the terrorist organization will face “isolation” and “lack of international backing.”

On Tuesday, Borrell is set to lead an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers to address Afghanistan, as well as NATO envoys.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Afghan ambassador stated that Moscow will determine whether or not to recognize the new Taliban administration based on its behavior.

In comparison to Pakistan, Iran, and China, Chalmers claims that “Western influence on the Taliban is quite limited.” Former US ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker warned that warning the Taliban of international isolation is a threat that is “unmoored from reality.”

“Rejecting modernity and the international community is part of the Taliban’s ideology — and the prestige gained by driving the US out is worth far more than assistance budgets,” he wrote for the Center for European Policy Analysis think tank.

“In fact, as a result of its reputation for abandoning its purpose, friends, and allies, the United States may feel even more isolated “Volker went on to say.

The United Kingdom has frequently stated that it was placed in a “very difficult position” to continue the operation after the United States announced its plan to withdraw, and British leaders have spoken with resignation as the situation swiftly deteriorated following NATO’s withdrawal.

“I believe it is fair to say that the United States’ decision to withdraw has hastened things, but this has been in many respects a chronicle of an event foretold,” Johnson said on Sunday.

Other European partners have made subtly critical remarks about NATO’s most powerful member.

When asked if France and the United States were to blame for the military forces’ collapse and the ensuing humanitarian catastrophe, Defense Minister Florence Parly responded, “France hasn’t been in Afghanistan since 2014.” There is no comparison to be drawn with the role of the United States.”

A senior EU official told reporters last week that “the decisions that were made in this regard were made in NATO,” when asked about the Afghan issue. He didn’t specifically mention the alliance’s most powerful member, but the criticism was clear.

“Let us offer a welcome back to the cynical Obama-Clinton-Biden doctrine: ‘If you can’t win, create chaos,” Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni said.

The breathtaking rapidity with which the Taliban advanced on Kabul also appeared to catch Western officials off guard.

For months, media have been unable to get answers from European diplomats at NATO and the EU on what security measures may be in place in Afghanistan if the situation worsens. Questions concerning how to safeguard embassies and the Kabul airport, which was in pandemonium Monday as tens of thousands attempted to escape the country, were never unanswered.

As the Taliban seized control, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries raced to remove their embassies, nationals, and Afghans who had assisted with their military effort.

“We all underestimated the situation, the government, the intelligence services, the international community,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas confessed on Monday. “Neither we nor our allies and analysts expected the Afghan security forces to withdraw and succumb at such a rapid pace.”

During an interview, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace sobbed as he expressed his sadness that some of those individuals will be left behind.

“It’s tragic, and the West has done what it’s done,” says the author “He admitted it. “We must do everything possible to get people out and honor our commitments and 20 years of sacrifice… “It is what it is,” says the narrator.

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