Germany will not support Afghanistan financially if the Taliban gain complete power over the country and implements Sharia law, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told broadcaster ZDF on Thursday.
“We provide €430 million ($505 million) every year — we will not give another cent if the Taliban take over the country and introduce Sharia law,” he said.
Despite resistance from Afghan government forces around several cities, the insurgents are gaining momentum. They have taken over key points across the country, including the southeastern city of Ghazni on Thursday, the tenth provincial capital in a week. The Taliban may be able press home their advantage, according to U.S. officials, which could lead to the fall of the capital, Kabul, within 90 days.
Several EU countries, meanwhile, are concerned over a potential increase in the number of asylum seekers to Europe due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Denmark tried to pressure the European Commission to allow the deportation of Afghan immigrants despite the major upheaval in the country, but some reversed their position on Wednesday. Dutch State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol announced the Netherlands would stop deportations and provide new chances for Afghans to request asylum. The German interior ministry also imposed a ban on Afghan deportations.
Asked if the Commission thinks Afghanistan is a safe country to return asylum seekers to, an EU spokesperson replied it is up to member countries to make that call.