Heiko Maas and his US counterpart Antony Blinken have discussed "a joint approach" toward the Taliban at the Ramstein US military base in Germany, after the Islamist militants named a new Afghan government.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks Wednesday at the Ramstein Air Base in western Germany. The US base has been a processing hub for thousands of evacuees during the massive airlift from Afghanistan.
Maas and Blinken's meeting came as Western governments weigh how to deal with the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The two diplomats held bilateral talks before a virtual meeting with other foreign ministers and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. The meeting was held before avirtual meeting with the NATO secretary-general.
Blinken told reporters that he discussed with partners how to hold the Taliban to their commitments. He also said the Taliban would have to work for the right to be regarded by the international community as a legitimate government. "The Taliban seek international legitimacy.
Blinken said the Islamist group was preventing some flights from leaving because some people wanting to fly out did not have the correct documentation. He also responded to criticism that the US administration was not making enough effort to facilitate further evacuations.
Maas said the non-inclusive interim government announced by the Taliban was "not the signal for more international cooperation and stability in the country" "We’ve made clear to all parties," the secretary of state said. "These charters need to be able to depart," Maas said.
"We hope that in the further formation of a government, which has not been completed, the necessary signals for this will be sent," he said. "A country with a totally collapsed economy will never be stable," he added.
The top German diplomat warned that a threefold humanitarian crisis was looming in Afghanistan. Maas had said previously that the goal of Wednesday's meeting was "to clarify what a joint approach toward the Taliban can look like" "The people of Afghanistan are not to blame for the Taliban coming to power," he said.
"If a new government is not able to keep the affairs of state running, there is a threat of economic collapse after the political one," Maas warned. "Many, many Americans are really looking forward to welcoming you and having you come to the United States," he told some of the children there.
The Islamist hard-line militants appointed longtime leaders in the Taliban power structure. The announcement came just hours after Taliban militants fired warning shots to disperse protests against their rule. Thousands of Afghans have fled their country since the Taliban took over the country.
The announcement of a transitional government without the participation of other groups are not signals that give cause for optimism," Maas said. They had also claimed victory in the northeastern Panjshir province, the last Afghan region still holding out against their rule. However, resistance forces said the fighting was still ongoing.