BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany wants to talk to the Taliban about how to evacuate its remaining local contract workers from Afghanistan, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, adding it was a good sign that the airport in Kabul could be used for flights again.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief has said the bloc is ready to engage with the new Taliban government in Kabul but the Islamist group must respect human rights, including those of women, and not let Afghanistan become a base for terrorism.
“We need to talk to the Taliban about how we can continue to get people who worked for Germany out of the country and to safety,” Merkel said.
International aid organisations should also be able to improve the humanitarian situation there, she added.
The Taliban have yet to name a government more than two weeks after they swept back into power. Their 1996-2001 rule was marked by violent punishments and a ban on schooling or work for women and girls, and many Afghans and foreign governments fear a return to such practices.
The militants say they have changed but have yet to spell out what rules they will enforce.
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Michael Nienaber; editing by John Stonestreet)