Wed, 29 Sep 2021

BRUSSELS, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) has no other option but to engage with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan if it wants to influence events in the country, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

However, Borrell underlined at a European Parliament plenary session debate in the French city of Strasbourg that engagement does not mean recognition.

Describing the summer's events in Afghanistan as "a tragedy," he insisted that engagement is a priority for the EU to continue protecting as many people as possible.

"To have any chance of influencing events, we have no other option but to engage with the Taliban. Engagement does not mean recognition. No, engaging means talking, discussing, and agreeing -- when possible," he said.

Regarding the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, Borrell said it was "dramatic", adding the European Commission has quadrupled its aid from 50 to 200 million euros.

The EU wants to help all those who wish to leave the country, he said, both EU nationals and Afghans at risk.

"Our initial focus was on the evacuations. The EU's efforts to provide protection for the Afghans most in need were important, but insufficient and have to continue. The Afghan crisis is not over," he said.

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