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No way around talks with Taliban, says German Foreign Minister

September 02, 2021 10:29 AM

Doha, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that there is “no way around” talks with the Taliban.
In an address alongside Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the German minister said that Germany could consider reopening its embassy in Kabul “under certain conditions”.
“I personally believe that there is no way around talks with the Taliban,” Maas said.
“On the one hand, because we have to solve very practical things like the continued operation of the airport. And secondly, because we simply cannot afford instability in Afghanistan, because it would encourage terrorism, and also have a massive impact on Afghanistan’s neighbouring states,” he said, according to Germany’s DW agency.
Meanwhile, his Qatari counterpart, Abdulrahman Al Thani warned against isolating the Taliban.
“If we are starting to put conditions and stopping this engagement, we are going to leave a vacuum, and the question is, who is going to fill this vacuum?,” Al Thani said on Tuesday, alongside Maas, Al Jazeera reported.
Qatar has emerged as a key interlocutor to the Taliban, having hosted the group’s political office since 2013.
Western countries have urged the Taliban to form an inclusive government and to respect human rights.
“We believe that without engagement we cannot reach … real progress on the security front or on the socioeconomic front,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The Qatari foreign minister also warned against any rise of “terrorism” after the US withdrawal and called for an inclusive government.
“It is our role to always urge them (the Taliban) to have an expanded government that includes all parties and not to exclude any party.
“During our talks with the Taliban, there was no positive or negative response,” al-Thani said, referring to recent talks between Qatar and Afghanistan’s new rulers.

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