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Germany and the Netherlands promise the Taliban humanitarian support

Berlin - Germany and the Netherlands have promised the Taliban humanitarian support. The main focus is on supplying the Afghan population in winter and building up the Afghan health and education system.

To this end, the Federal Government's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Jasper Wieck, the Dutch special envoy for Afghanistan, Emiel de Bont, and the designated German ambassador to Afghanistan, Markus Potzel, met with members of the Taliban regime in Kabul on Thursday. According to the Foreign Office, the delegation held talks with "high-ranking representatives of the Afghan de facto government authorities", including Vice Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Motaqi and the head of the secret service, Abdul Haq Wasiq.

Aid for the Afghan people
"Both sides underlined the importance of continued operational contacts on those issues where practical cooperation is both necessary and possible, in particular to deal with the humanitarian plight of the Afghan people," said the Federal Foreign Office.

The Taliban had regained power in Afghanistan in August. Many Western governments, including the German one, had been surprised by the rapid advance of the radical Islamists and the immediate surrender of the Afghan government and the armed forces. If the Germans initially said they would not recognize the Taliban or support their government with development funds, a reconsideration soon began.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) promised the Taliban financial aid under certain conditions at the beginning of September. Germany could pay out the frozen development aid for Afghanistan again if the new government was not just made up of the Taliban, for example. Women's and other human rights must also be respected. Afghanistan must not become a “new haven for terrorism”. "Most people will not be able to leave Afghanistan because the borders are closed," explained Maas.

Meeting at the mediation of Qatar
The talks with the Taliban on Thursday were about similar conditions. So they should guarantee protection for members of aid organizations. The representatives of Germany and the Netherlands also expressed their willingness to negotiate with international partners whether to support the Afghan education and health system by paying the salaries of health workers and teachers from international organizations.

In return, the Afghan negotiators expressed "their understanding that equal access for girls and boys to education is a national necessity for Afghanistan".

At the same time, they confirmed the validity of the promised general amnesty and assured free travel to any Afghans who wanted to leave the country. They also reaffirm their promise that Afghanistan will never again become a haven for terrorist organizations.

The meeting was made possible, through the mediation of the Emirate of Qatar, which the Foreign Office expressly thanked in its communication.

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