EU takes a wait and see approach to development aid for Afghanistan

AP Photo/Zabi Karimi

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sounds more clear-eyed than some prominent Democrats when it comes to trusting a change of behavior in the Taliban. She says that the European Union will not recognize the Taliban and there will be no talks with the Taliban. Aid for development in Afghanistan will only happen after evaluating whether or not the Taliban 2.0 makes good on its rhetoric about respecting human rights in the country. Color her skeptical.


Von der Leyen made some comments about the future financial aid that will come from the EU after a visit to a reception center in Madrid for Afghan employees of EU institutions evacuated from Kabul. The EU will consider an increase in humanitarian aid but will tie development aid to human rights.

Von der Leyen said she would propose an increase in the 57 million euros ($67 million) in humanitarian aid which the Commission had allocated this year for Afghanistan.

She said EU development aid is tied to respect of human rights, good treatment of minorities and respect for the rights of women and girls.

“We may well hear the Taliban’s words but we will measure them above all by their deeds and actions,” von der Leyen told a news conference.

The EU Commission will provide funding to member countries that help resettle refugees. She plans to raise the issue of resettlement at a G7 meeting next week. European Council President Charles Michel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez spoke alongside von der Leyen. Michel noted that migration is a “thorny” issue for many EU countries and encouraged partnerships with non-EU countries to handle migration needs that will be coming from Afghanistan. As Afghans flee, von der Leyen said that refugees should have “legal and safe routes globally, organized by us, the international community.”

No one who has observed the actions of the Taliban and other terrorist groups in the region, like al Qaeda and ISIS, thinks for a minute that the Taliban will usher in a kinder, gentler era of Sharia law. That is except for some politicians in the United States like Nancy Pelosi who are trying their best to provide cover for the Biden administration’s disastrous handling of the troop withdrawal. She initially stated that if the Taliban want to be accepted in the international community, they’ll allow women and children to be treated as human beings. Her nonsensical remarks either show how naive she is about the Taliban or she is just deliberately saying words of support for Biden’s bad judgment and actions. Neither option is good. The Taliban don’t care about the international community, much less want to be a part of it. The reversal back to dark times for women and children in Afghanistan has already begun.


As noted in the linked post above, Pelosi said to reporters, “The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. We are deeply concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls.” How embarrassing, even for Pelosi. The Taliban hopes the world is watching. They want their acts of brutality to be seen. That’s how terrorism works.

Who knows what kind of deals the Biden administration is making with the Taliban? They are talking to them and allowing them to circle the airport in Kabul as American troops try to evacuate Americans and Afghan partners out of the country. Biden and his mouthpieces at the Pentagon talk as though all is just fine, there is no violence towards anyone … yet. Malarkey. There are already reports coming out of Kabul that show otherwise.

Al-Qaeda terrorist Khalil Haqqani has arrived back in Kabul. There’s a $5M bounty on his head as he is one of America’s most wanted terrorists. He was seen leading prayers for Taliban fighters at a mosque in the city on Friday in front of adoring fans. His al-Qaeda group is an affiliate of the Taliban.

The Haqqanis have been blamed for some of the deadliest terror attacks across the world in recent years, claiming the lives of civilians, government officials and foreign forces.

They have been designated a foreign terrorist group by the United States – and the jihadists are also under United Nations sanctions.

Despite their reputation, they are expected to be powerful players in the new regime following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last week – casting doubts on the group’s pledge not to harbour terrorists.

According to the New York Times, Haqqani told the crowd on Friday: “Our first priority for Afghanistan is security. If there is no security, there is no life.

“We will give security, then we will give economy, trade, education for men and women. There will be no discrimination.”


He says that now they await the departure of the Americans. Once the military presence leaves, the dark days will return. To think otherwise is absurd. The Taliban leadership in Kabul wants access to the money in Afghanistan’s U.S. bank accounts, which are now frozen. The Taliban and their alliances will talk a good game right now.

The most pressing financial problem is that the country has essentially run out of US dollars — a disaster for a country like Afghanistan that runs a very large trade deficit.

Afghanistan’s shipments of US dollars were derailed by the violence and chaos in the days before Kabul fell to the Taliban. And now Washington has effectively frozen Afghanistan’s US-held central bank assets to prevent the money from flowing to the Taliban.

Moreover, the International Monetary Fund, under pressure from the United States, is halting $450 million in funds that were scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan early next week.
Ahmady, a Harvard trained economist, said this situation is going to cause economic hardship for the new regime as well as for the people of Afghanistan.

Joe Biden turned Afghanistan over to the bad guys. Afghans know what is coming. Those trapped there and those who will remain in their country have seen this all play out before. It doesn’t end well for them.

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David Strom 6:40 PM | February 29, 2024