Macron calls for EU migration plan as Afghans flee Taliban control

Emmanuel Macron
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French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said France and Germany will advocate for a plan to confront potential migration from Afghanistan as individuals look to flee the country amid the Taliban’s takeover.

“We must anticipate and protect ourselves against major irregular migratory flows that would endanger those who use them and feed trafficking of all kinds,” Macron said in a pre-recorded speech, according to Politico.

“Europe alone cannot bear the consequences of the current situation,” he added.

Macron said the “initiative” will concentrate on “the fight against irregular flows, solidarity in the effort, the harmonization of protection criteria and the establishment of cooperation with transit and host countries such as Pakistan, Turkey or Iran.”

He said Germany and other European countries will join France in pressing for the proposal.

The president said that France “will continue to do its duty to protect those who are most at risk,” adding that the country remains willing to participate in “an international effort, organized and just.”

Macron’s comments come after the Taliban seized the capital city of Kabul on Sunday, unleashing unrest and political uncertainty in Afghanistan.

Politico reported on Monday that European leaders were at odds with how to respond to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, with some saying their countries should take in Afghans impacted by the crisis and others contending that Europe should not serve as an asylum for a large number of refugees.

The high representative for the European Union, Josep Borrell, announced in a tweet on Monday that EU foreign ministers will meet on Tuesday following the developments in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan stands at a crossroad. Security and wellbeing of its citizens, as well as international security are at play,” Borrell wrote.

Macron, during his address, stressed that Afghanistan cannot “become the haven for terrorists that it once was,” according to Reuters.

“It is a challenge for peace and international stability, against a common enemy. We will do everything we can so that Russia, the United States and Europe can cooperate efficiently, because our interests are the same,” Macron added.

“The United Nations’ Security Council will have to come up with a common and united answer,” he said.

The U.N. Security Council released a statement on Sunday calling for an end to the hostilities in Afghanistan and the creation of an “inclusive” government following the Taliban’s takeover.

France was also one of more than 60 countries to sign on to a joint statement on Sunday calling for the “safe and orderly departure” of foreign nationals and Afghans from Afghanistan.

“Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call on all parties to respect and facilitate, the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country,” members of the international community wrote.

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