Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias participates in the extraordinary videoconference of EU Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan (17.08.2021)

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, participated in the extraordinary videoconference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, with the developments in Afghanistan being the only item on the agenda.

In his remarks, Mr. Dendias underlined that immediate priority should be given to the coordination for the safe evacuation of EU citizens.

He welcomed the intention of some Member States to also include Afghan citizens who had previously worked as interpreters for the Greek forces who were in the country as part of the NATO Mission, as well as their families.

Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, the European Union should emphasize the need for the formation of a representative government.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that the Taliban must respect fundamental rights and freedoms and that the protection of women, minors and minorities should be ensured. He also referred to the need to protect cultural heritage.

Mr. Dendias placed particular emphasis on the risk of increased migration flows. He stressed the need to protect the EU’s external borders and to avoid a new humanitarian crisis.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined the importance of taking a united and coordinated approach to the migration issue and stressed that it should be made clear to third countries, such as Turkey, that instrumentalization of this issue will not be allowed.

On all the aforementioned issues, there should be close coordination with the other countries involved, starting with the United States.