Romano Prodi also argues that it is necessary to start a dialogue with the Taliban, who have returned to power in Afghanistan. The former president of the Council and of the European Commission believes that the confrontation is an “obligatory step” to avoid further bloodshed and a possible new wave of migration from Afghanistan.
Prodi wrote about it in an editorial published in the newspaper The messenger today, Sunday 22 August 2021. “Dialogue with the Taliban is an obligatory step and therefore the effort that Draghi is making to put it on the agenda of an extraordinary G20 meeting is positive”, reads theitem.
According to the former premier, the extraordinary G20 is “a forum in which, even if it is not the ideal place to make concrete decisions, one can begin the search for a compromise between all those who, for various reasons, have an interest in not creating further tensions in such a politically sensitive area ”.
Prodi’s speech is part of the open debate on whether or not to speak with the Taliban. German Chancellor Angela Merkel argues that dialogue is necessary to ensure that those in danger can leave Afghanistan. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, instead stated that there are, yes, “operational contacts” with the Islamist group to facilitate the evacuations from Kabul, but that there is “no political dialogue”.
In Italy, the words of the leader of the M5S, Giuseppe Conte, who called for a “close dialogue” with the Taliban have been discussed, also in light of the “relaxing” attitude they have shown. Luigi Di Maio, the five-star foreign minister, indirectly responded to the former premier, according to whom the Islamists who have returned to power in Afghanistan “must be judged not on the basis of words but on the basis of facts”. On TPI former M5S MP Alessandro Di Battista argued that “anyone who is really interested in the Afghan people will have to talk to the Taliban” [Leggi l’articolo].
Returning to Prodi, in his editorial, the former leader of the Olive tree observes: “We can and must make a thousand reflections on the difficulty of exporting democracy, but the first and elementary conclusion is that, in the Afghan case, we supported on governments unable to win the trust of citizens because they are corrupt and far from their real needs ”.
“Today we must acknowledge that the takeover by the Taliban appears complete and, in the foreseeable future, without alternatives”, continues Prodi. “We must therefore take this into account and devote our energies to avoiding revenge and bloodshed, protecting, as far as possible, at least the elementary rights of all Afghan citizens”.
“I do not think that, despite the reassuring statements, this goal is a priority of the current rulers of the tormented country,” writes the former premier. “Only strong international pressure based on a common interest in stabilizing Afghanistan can somehow avoid its most dramatic consequences”.
According to Prodi, “for various reasons this common interest exists”: “Russia and China have within them minorities that are easily sensitive to Islamic extremism, while Pakistan and Turkey fear that a new flow of refugees will be added to that which has already arrived in the past “.
And so here is the need, according to the former prime minister, to start a dialogue with the Taliban: “A necessary step”, he writes. Prodi highlights the “collapse of American popularity in countries that, like India, base their security on the support of the United States” but also in Europe: this problem, he says, “at least for now, concerns only the chancelleries but it will always become more important in the future ”.
“At the popular level – observes the Professor – attention is focused, for now, on the possible new wave of migrants”, also for the “rhetoric of fear used daily” throughout Europe “by populist and eurosceptic movements, starting with the Pen in France and by Salvini in Italy ”.
“The migratory wave is objectively still far from reality but, to make it even further away, we must implement, also with regard to the countries bordering Afghanistan, a concrete policy of aid and assistance”, concludes Prodi. “Once the war option has failed, in fact, we are left with only the path of dialogue, even with countries and political organizations so far from our tradition”.