The EU’s Interests in Afghanistan in Post-2021 Scenario: From Preferences to Operational Engagements
Keywords:European Union, US, Withdrawal, Afghanistan, Human rights, Afghan Policy
The European Union (EU) reshapes its position on Afghanistan in the post-US withdrawal scenario, witnessing Taliban re-entrance to the power corridors. By stopping all preferences immediately after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the EU decided to continue only an operational engagement with the new Afghan administration which was necessary for logistical, operational, and humanitarian purposes. This research paper aims to investigate the EU’s responses towards Afghanistan, particularly in terms of its strategic engagement with Kabul, which intends to limit humanitarian assistance and other necessary activities in the war-torn country. A situation analysis of the empirical process was employed as a research technique to investigate the EU’s new stance over Afghanistan following the Taliban’s reemergence in the country. The study finds that human rights violations, ineffective rules of law, lack of social justice, and security issues led to the lack of interest of the international community including the EU in enhancing trade and economic cooperation with the country. The paper argues that to reopen doors to the international community including the EU, the Taliban regime needs to fulfil its international commitments concerning human rights and security issues.
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