Baerbock: Link aid in Afghanistan to conditions

Baerbock: Make aid in Afghanistan subject to conditions

Published on 10.220 .220

  • Annalena Baerbock addresses a press conference following her meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bhutto Zardari. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa
  • Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is received in Islamabad by her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

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Annalena Baerbock is traveling to Pakistan for the first time as Foreign Minister. The talks with the new government in Islamabad are primarily about the difficult situation in the neighboring country.

Islamabad.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned not to forget the suffering of the people in Afghanistan, despite the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. “We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe,” said the Green politician during a visit to Pakistan.

One may not let the people in neighboring Afghanistan, where the Taliban have been in power again since last year, go hungry. “But anything other than humanitarian aid must be strictly conditional,” Baerbock said after talks with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the capital, Islamabad.

Baerbock: limited influence on events in Afghanistan

Regarding the disregard for human and women’s rights by the militant Islamist Taliban, Baerbock said: “We have to be very honest. Our influence on what is happening in Afghanistan is very limited. It depends on the Taliban making rational decisions in their own economic interests. And they are not doing that at the moment. The Taliban are heading in the wrong direction.” At the end of August 2020 the last international combat troops had left after almost 20 years ago withdrew from Afghanistan. The Taliban had already conquered the capital Kabul without a fight.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Zardari called on the Islamic world to act together “so that we are in a better position to ensure that the Afghan regime complies with international obligations”. In this way, an environment can be created “that reduces and does not increase the likelihood of terrorist activities”.

Local staff and those in need of protection are to be flown out

At the meeting Zardari is also likely to be about efforts by the Federal Government to fly other former Afghan local Bundeswehr personnel and women and men who are particularly in need of protection, as well as their family members, to Germany via Pakistan. According to information from the federal government, since the Taliban took power, a good two-thirds of the people who had received a letter of acceptance from Germany have also been able to leave the country. About 10.000 So people are still waiting. For local staff, the ratio of entries already made to admission commitments is a good 50 percent, for those at risk it is around 50 percent.

After meeting Zardari, Baerbock wanted to get a picture of the situation in the passport and visa office of the German embassy in Islamabad. In the afternoon, a discussion is on the agenda with Afghans who want to travel to Germany via Pakistan.

Germany supports Pakistan in development cooperation in the areas of climate, education and sustainability, among other things. For and 2021 the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) committed more than 170 million euros to the South Asian country. German companies are also active in the populous country with more than 220 million inhabitants. (dpa)

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