‘Refugee crisis could pave way for common EU migration policy’

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Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told a press conference on Friday after an informal meeting of the Foreign Ministers that this task was conditional on whether security conditions are met for talks with the new government in Afghanistan…reports Asian Lite News.

The situation in Afghanistan and the events associated with it could pave the way for the formation of a common migration policy, according to European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas.

Speaking to an Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung, Schinas said, “It is true that we are now in a major crisis, but the European Union (EU) did not cause the situation, yet we are once again called upon to be part of a solution.”

He further said that he wanted to “avoid a reflex” that takes Europe back to the crisis year 2015 “before it is even clear how the situation will develop.”

After Taliban takeover, several thousands of Afghans have been flown out of their homeland either to neighbouring Asian countries or to the US and Europe. The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has said that up to 500,000 Afghans could escape by the year-end, media reported.

Last week, Foreign Ministers of the European Union had agreed to re-establish a joint presence in Kabul to ensure the safe departure of the bloc’s nationals and Afghans who are considered at risk and who could be received by member states.

Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told a press conference on Friday after an informal meeting of the Foreign Ministers that this task was conditional on whether security conditions are met for talks with the new government in Afghanistan.

“We have been tasked by the Council on coordinating the contacts with the Taliban, the new government in Afghanistan, including with a joint European Union presence in Kabul if the security conditions allow for it,” he said.

“From there, we should support the departure of European nationals that are still there and Afghans at risk that could be received by EU member states… All member states still have quite an important number of either nationals or Afghans that have been cooperating with them or that have been identified as people at risk,” he added.

The second task that the Ministers agreed on was the engagement with regional and relevant international partners to create a regional political platform of cooperation with Afghanistan’s neighbours to face together the challenges created by the new situation.

Addressing an earlier press conference preceding the ministerial meeting, Borrell said the EU was ready to engage but the Taliban must respect human rights, including those of women, and not allow Afghanistan to become a breeding ground for militants.

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