Germany’s foreign minister said Thursday that his country will stop giving foreign aid to Afghanistan if the Taliban takes over the country and implements “Sharia Law.”
“We provide 430 million euros [$505 million] every year, we will not give another cent if the Taliban takes over the country and introduces Sharia law,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, according to Reuters.
Maas’ comments suggest Germany could keep giving Afghanistan aid even if a future government is Taliban-controlled, as long as the group doesn’t impose strict laws as it had in the past. The Taliban’s harsh treatment of women is one of the main talking points for hawks who argue the US should continue the war. Even George W. Bush claimed he cared about Afghan women when he spoke out against President Biden’s withdrawal.
The Taliban is aware of these talking points, and a spokesman told The Associated Press that a future government they are involved in would allow women to work, go to school, and participate in politics, although they would be required to wear a hijab.
More Western powers are accepting the fact that the Taliban will be the dominant political power in Afghanistan. Even the US appears to be leveraging future foreign aid to the Taliban in an attempt to get the group to avoid attacking the US embassy in Kabul.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, urged the Afghan government to work with the Taliban to reach a political settlement. “We encourage the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to settle political differences, increase representation of all stakeholders and engage with the Taliban from a united perspective,” Borrell said in a statement Thursday.
While they have little leverage as the Taliban is making sweeping territorial gains, the Afghan government has reportedly offered the Taliban a power-sharing deal in exchange for an end to the violence.