According to the members of the Bundestag, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has also canceled his participation in an event organized by the Defense Ministry to deal with the mission in Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office announced this to the AFP news agency in Berlin on Tuesday.
The parliamentary groups of the Union, SPD, Greens and FDP had previously canceled their participation in the event on Wednesday. 25 aid organizations and NGOs meanwhile called for a “lifeline” for people at risk in Afghanistan.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) invited to a full-day event entitled “20 Years of Afghanistan – Starting Shot for a Balance Sheet Debate” on Wednesday. Among others, the General Inspector of the Bundeswehr, Eberhard Zorn, is expected. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to speak a greeting. The parliamentary groups had described the timing of the event as “completely inappropriate” in view of the ongoing explorations for the formation of a government in Berlin, as the ARD had reported.
The joint statement by the aid organizations was published ahead of an EU meeting on Afghanistan on Thursday. Those affected must be given “safe and legal routes out of Afghanistan,” demanded the signatories, which also include the human rights organization Amnesty International and the aid organization Oxfam.
The signatories are calling for “ambitious commitments to accept at least 36,000 refugees” by 2022 as part of resettlement programs in various regions. This should apply to people who are classified as particularly at risk by the UN refugee agency UNHCR. There is also a need for a program for Afghan refugees in neighboring countries.
In addition, according to the signatories, every legal route must be used to bring vulnerable people from Afghanistan to safety. The use of family reunification, humanitarian visas as well as scholarship and work visas are mentioned as possible measures. This could deter people from risking dangerous border crossings.
In Europe, “access to a fair and comprehensive asylum procedure for Afghan and other nationals must be maintained”. Their inclusion, integration and participation in society should be supported.
Meanwhile, a representative of the British government met with the deputy head of the Taliban government, Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Kabul. Topics of the meeting were, among other things, the safe exit for those who want to leave the country, as a government spokesman announced.
fwe / cp