US Secretary Of State Consults Allies, Seeks Common Ground On Taliban.

US Secretary Of State Consults Allies, Seeks Common Ground On Taliban

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at the US Air Base in Ramstein, Germany.

Ramstein:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was looking Wednesday to build a united front with nations shaken by the Afghanistan withdrawal as he consulted allies and heard stories from refugees at an air base in Germany.

Ramstein is the second base visit in as many days by Blinken, who toured Qatar on Tuesday, as he offered thanks to US civilian and military officials behind one of history's largest airlifts after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.

At the base, Blinken and his aides met German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas before together leading a 20-nation virtual ministerial that included European allies and historic Taliban backer Pakistan.

Blinken said he would be working "with many other countries to talk about the way forward on Afghanistan."

At the entrance to a vast hangar where some of the 11,000 Afghans at Ramstein are awaiting flights to the United States, Blinken crouched down and showed photos on his telephone of his own children to the four-year-old son of Mustafa Mohammadi, an Afghan military veteran who worked with the US embassy turned refugee.

Blinken, the stepson of a Holocaust survivor and longtime advocate for refugees, also toured a makeshift home for some of the children who have lost their parents.

"My name is Tony," he said. "Who's playing volleyball? What about football?"

"Many, many, many Americans are really looking forward to welcoming you and having you come to the United States," he said.

Hanging on the walls were artwork by children, including a picture of a girl on a cliff beneath a deep-blue sky with a broken heart and a message in English, "Say to my Mom I miss you."

One boy presented Blinken with a T-shirt with the children's names, an Afghan flag and an inscription "For Sir Blinken."

"I will wear this in Washington and be able to tell everyone where I got it," he said to their laughter.

Seeking international pressure

The United States and its allies evacuated some 123,000 people, mostly Afghans who fear Taliban retribution, in the final days of the 20-year US war that President Joe Biden ended last month.

But US officials acknowledge that many more remain and say that the Taliban have agreed to let them leave.

In the virtual talks with 20 other nations including European allies, Blinken is likely to seek to shore up international pressure on the Taliban to make good on their promises.

The talks could also bring coordination on how to deal with the caretaker government announced Tuesday, which has no women or non-Taliban members and includes an interior minister who the United States is seeking to arrest on terrorism accusations.

The United States said it was "concerned" by the makeup of the government, but would judge it by its actions. US officials have stressed that any official recognition of a Taliban government is far off.

Maas said the goal of Wednesday's meeting was "to clarify what a joint approach towards the Taliban can look like".

"The people of Afghanistan are not to blame for the Taliban coming to power. And they do not deserve to have the international community turn away now," Maas said in a statement.

Germany, like many US allies, had celebrated Biden's victory over Donald Trump and the new administration's stated emphasis on working with the rest of the world.

But even some close allies have been critical over how Biden ended the 20-year war in Afghanistan, which led to the Western-backed government crumbling within days.

Armin Laschet, the leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling party and candidate to succeed her, described the Afghanistan mission as "the biggest debacle" in NATO's history.

Biden has long favoured pulling out of Afghanistan, arguing that the US-led NATO mission had achieved its core goal of accountability for the September 11 attacks 20 years ago this week and that the United States should not invest further blood or treasure in propping up a weak government.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
North, South Korea test missiles amid rising tensions - DW News.

North, South Korea test missiles amid rising tensions - DW News.

North Korea on Wednesday fired two ballistic missiles into the sea, according to the South Korean military. Hours later, South Korea said President Moon Jae-in observed Seoul's first underwater-launched missile test on Wednesday afternoon. The Sou...

More than just her words, Amanda Gorman uses fashion to make bold statements: Part 3.

More than just her words, Amanda Gorman uses fashion to make bold statements: Part 3.

As a Black woman, Gorman said it was important to her to showcase her natural hair while on the national stage. Since then, she has stride into the fashion world, including co-chairing the Met Gala.

Amanda Gorman fell in love with writing while growing up in West Los Angeles: Part 2.

Amanda Gorman fell in love with writing while growing up in West Los Angeles: Part 2.

Famous for speaking in front of millions, Gorman said she overcame a childhood speech impediment and learned how to amplify her voice. In 2017, she was named the nation’s 1st youth Poet Laureate.

Amanda Gorman becomes an overnight success after inaugural poem: Part 1.

Amanda Gorman becomes an overnight success after inaugural poem: Part 1.

Gorman said she drew motivation from the Jan. 6 Capitol riots to write her renowned inaugural poem. Following her performance, the young writer stepped into the spotlight as a national icon.

Sky News Breakfast: A new day for a new Cabinet

Sky News Breakfast: A new day for a new Cabinet

On Sky News Breakfast on Thursday September 16: - Boris Johnson completes the line up to his new cabinet as new ministers begin day one in their new jobs; - the US, UK and Australia strike a deal to share submarine secrets, but at France's expense...

Amanda Gorman rises to stardom after reciting poem at presidential inauguration.

Amanda Gorman rises to stardom after reciting poem at presidential inauguration.

The first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate has become a cultural icon, appearing at the Super Bowl and in Vogue magazine and, most recently, becoming co-chair of the Met Gala.