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Dutch expert speaks of CA States’ greater future importance amid US withdrawal from Afghanistan

31 August 2021 13:13
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Dutch expert speaks of CA States’ greater future importance amid US withdrawal from Afghanistan

BRUSSELS. KAZINFORM – Kazinform correspondent in Brussels sat down with Jorrit Kamminga, an associate fellow at the Dutch Clingendael Institute.

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- The current situation in Afghanistan is still tragic. Nobody has predicted that 20 years of international missions would end like this.

-The evacuation has been a disaster, despite the personal commitments of many veterans, diplomats and development aid workers. The current situation is quite uncertain, with a deal that might work to get more people out of Afghanistan. But it will never be enough.

Way too many Afghans have worked for international projects and NGOs. Even if that had been possible get them all out, it would have been tragic as you would be taking out all the investment in people, knowledge and access to information. That would really turn time back in Afghanistan.

-Can we say that the EU's relations with the Central Asia will become more active?

-As we will be able to do less from inside Afghanistan, the importance of the region will again grow as a base to continue humanitarian aid and develop cooperation.

If Pakistan is not possible as a base to do that, like it was during the 1980s, it is indeed likely that the Central Asian republics will prove to be important for the EU.

-Will the European Union recognize the Taliban regime?

-For the moment it depends on what the government will look like and its behaviors in the coming months. But closing all doors will be even worse.

Isolating the Taliban regime like in the second half of the 1990s will not benefit anybody and definitely not the Afghan population. More than half of the population lives under the poverty and is still illiterate. Before the takeover of the Taliban happened, 18.4 million Afghans were expected to need some form of humanitarian assistance this year. That reality does not go away. Not for uu, not for the Taliban, that wants to serve the people with a new government.

-How will the Dutch society react to the possibility of an influx of Afghan refugees to the country, for example, 20 thousand?

-For the moment, the reaction has been relatively positive, but there also have been protests at one of the main camps where refugees have arrived in the past days.

The Dutch society is quite divided and there is a lot of support for parties that favor strict migration policies or position themselves as 'anti-Islam'. Resettlement of refugees from Syria has, for example, been minimal in the past years. So, in general, there will not be widespread political support. Support from veterans and others who served in Afghanistan has, however, been overwhelming, which is at least a positive effect of the past twenty years.

Thank you.

The interview was conducted by Arnur Rakhimbekov

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