Neither the European Union nor President Joe Biden are in any rush to formally recognize the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan, but the move is on the table.
Gunnar Wiegand, the European Commission’s managing director for Asia and the Pacific, echoed White House press secretary Jen Psaki nearly word-for-word when asked whether the EU plans to recognize the Taliban. The Taliban is now in nearly full control of Afghanistan, but it has a long record of supporting terrorism and suppressing human rights.
“There is no doubt among (EU) member states and in the G7 context: we need to engage with the Taliban, we need to communicate with the Taliban, we need to influence the Taliban, we need to make use of the leverages which we have,” he said. “But we will not rush into recognizing this new formation, nor into establishing official relations.”
The Biden White House has also emphasized that some level of engagement with the Taliban in necessary to continue the evacuation of American citizens and allies in Afghanistan. (RELATED: Blinken Says US Gave Americans In Afghanistan ‘Every Opportunity’ To Leave)
“There’s no rush to recognition from the United States or any country we’ve spoken with around the world. It will be very dependent on their behavior and whether they deliver on what the expectations are of the global community,” Psaki told reporters Wednesday.
Wiegand also called for an assessment of “what went wrong” in the 20-year occupation of Afghanistan by the West, with an emphasis on the withdrawal. Republicans in Congress have also called for a separate investigation, though the Biden administration insists that only a “hotwash” review of events is necessary.
“We have to make an assessment of the reasons why such a meltdown was possible,” Wiegand said. “We have to learn lessons for similar situations, and this will be an assessment which is starting now.”