This Article is From Aug 19, 2021

Taliban's Afghanistan Takeover Biggest Event Since Crimea: EU Foreign Policy Chief

Afghanistan: European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament major worries included a possible surge in refugees.

Taliban's Afghanistan Takeover Biggest Event Since Crimea: EU Foreign Policy Chief

Afghanistan: Taliban has taken control of the country after withdrawal of US-led foreign forces. (File)

Brussels:

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is the most important geopolitical event since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, the EU's foreign policy chief said on Thursday.

Josep Borrell told the European Parliament major worries included a possible surge in refugees and increasing complexity in Central Asia -- with Turkey, China and Russia all vying to increase their influence in the region.

Borrell reiterated that the EU was being forced to "establish channels of communication" with the Taliban to ensure the evacuation of its nationals and Afghan staff and their families.

"Yes, we have to talk with the Taliban but that doesn't mean recognition," he said.

Borrell said the collapse of the Western-backed regime in Afghanistan was "the most important geopolitical event since the Crimea annexation by Russia" in 2014.

The 27-nation EU will now have to extend a "diplomatic reach-out" to Iran, Pakistan and India to manage the fallout, Borrell said.

"Current developments are going to have a wide-ranging impact on regional international security," he said, adding that Brussels planned to work with the US and other allies to develop "a common approach".

Borrell's comments to the European Parliament's foreign affairs and development committees were made a day before an emergency videolink meeting of NATO foreign ministers to discuss Afghanistan and the consequences.

Most of NATO's 30 member states are EU countries.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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