On 11 October 2021, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in a video conference of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council (Development) on Afghanistan. The informal meeting had been convened to exchange views on the rapidly deepening crisis in Afghanistan and a ‘Team Europe’ approach to its resolution.
The participants discussed the ways to prevent the collapse of the country and a sweeping humanitarian crisis while avoiding legitimisation of the Taliban regime. The humanitarian and human rights situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted that violence by the Taliban and the scale of terrorist attacks by ISIL, as well as serious human rights violations in Afghanistan are on the rise. The Parliamentary Secretary voiced support for a unified EU approach to dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
A coordinated response is vital, and every effort must be made for assistance to reach the most vulnerable groups of society, especially women and girls, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted. At the same time, it is important to ensure that support is not indirectly provided to the Taliban. In addition to humanitarian aid to Afghan people, she said, it is essential to invest in the resilience of Afghanistan’s neighbours, including the Central Asian region, in order to mitiagte the potential consequences of the crisis in the region.
The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, as it meets in the development ministers’ configuration, considers the matters of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The meetings are chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and security Policy.