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newsG7 Meeting on Afghanistan 24 August 2021

On 24 August, G7 leaders met by video conference to discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan and coordinate international action.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, represented the EU at the virtual meeting.

The first issue discussed was the safe evacuation of the coalition's citizens, Afghan staff, and their families.

The EU and its member states spare no effort to evacuate EU citizens, and those who have partnered trustfully with us. We are concerned, about their ability to safely reach the Kabul airport. We call on the new Afghan authorities, to allow free passage to all foreign, and Afghan citizens, who wish to get to the airport.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Regarding humanitarian aid and migration, President Michel assured that the EU will do its part to support the safety and proper living conditions of Afghans who flee their country. And that the EU will work with the countries in the region, especially Iran, Pakistan, and central Asia, to address the different needs.

He also stressed the importance of preventing the creation of a new market for smugglers and human traffickers, underlining the EU's determination to keep the migratory flows under control and its borders protected.

Ending the military operation in Afghanistan is not the end of our commitment to promoting rule of law, democracy, and human rights in the world. On the contrary, we should be more determined than ever. This must be clear to actors who are trying to take advantage of the current situation. The EU will continue to firmly protect and promote its interests and values.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Concerning to the new Afghan authorities, President Michel explained that it is too early to decide what kind of relations the EU will develop with the new Afghan authorities. 

On the topic of security issues, the President reminded that cooperation with NATO is key, while remarking on the importance of developing EU strategic autonomy.

Visit to the reception centre for EU’s Afghan staff

On 21 August, President Michel visited the reception centre, in Madrid, for Afghan employees of EU institutions evacuated from Kabul. The President underlined that it was important to demonstrate EU solidarity to the people in Afghanistan who helped the EU and its member states promote their values and defend their interests.

Background information

The G7 is an international forum that brings together the world’s leading industrial nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The European Union is a unique supranational organisation rather than a sovereign state and is therefore a ‘non-enumerated’ member – hence the name G7 (Group of Seven) – and does not assume the rotating G7 presidency.

 Copyright European Union