Europe's hypocrisy over Afghan refugees


Most European Union countries waited until the last minute before suspending expulsions of Afghans who had sought asylum on their soil. Now that the Taliban have seized power in Kabul, the 27 EU foreign ministers are meeting this Tuesday to decide the next steps to take. A dignified welcome for Afghan exiles who have already arrived on their territory would be a first sign of solidarity, says Mediapart's Carine Fouteau.

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The rapid arrival of the Taliban in Kabul, which caught the major capitals of the world off guard, was quickly accompanied by an outpouring of compassion for Afghans. In particular there has been widespread concern for Afghan women whose daily lives now face the risk of being brutally turned upside down by the implementation of the harsh rules championed by the new masters of the country. The responsibility of Western countries, headed by the United States, for the current disaster after 20 years of military intervention and a chaotic retreat will force them to react. But the precedent of Syria, which reminded us that solidarity is measured in concrete acts of welcome rather than just words,  raises fears that this astonishment tinged with sympathy over the plight of Afghans might turn into crocodile tears when it comes to receiving them.