TALIBANS SHOW « NO SIGN » OF CHANGE
The Taliban have sent « no sign » of change since their return to power in Kabul, lamented Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview with Figaro to be released on Friday. « For now, we have no sign that they are taking this direction, » he said, whether it is « a complete break with any terrorist organization », respect for women’s rights or « lifting obstacles for those who want to leave the country « .
The Quai d’Orsay therefore continues to « collect all reports of people at risk » likely to flee Afghanistan, he added, conceding that there were « still people » to go out despite the end of the bridge air travel following the US withdrawal on August 31. « Our priority is to find new ways out as quickly as possible, » noted Jean-Yves Le Drian. « The ideal would be the reopening of the Kabul airport, with security measures, » he added, without giving further details.
Qatar said Thursday to work with the Taliban to reopen « as soon as possible » the airport, a major strategic and humanitarian issue closed since the departure of the Americans. « The lesson of Afghanistan is that you cannot impose a mode of governance on a country from outside by armed force when it does not have the broad support of the people and its political class » , continued the head of French diplomacy, asked about the results of 20 years of American presence in Afghanistan. However, he refuted any comparison with the situation of the French army in the Sahel. « We are there at the request of the local authorities. Finally, we did not leave the Sahel, » he pointed out.
Jean-Yves Le Drian also ruled that the disastrous image left by the departure of the United States from Afghanistan would not necessarily call into question American power. « Contrary to what many editorial writers write, I do not believe that Afghanistan is synonymous with American decline, » he said. « In 1975 (when Saigon fell) the end of the American Empire was announced. Exactly the opposite happened in the 1980s, a period of strong growth in the United States. »