European Union offers hundreds of millions of dollars in aid provided the group meet certain conditions including a promise to uphold women's rights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the leaders who attended the virtual G7 summit on the crisis triggered by Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the leaders who attended the virtual G7 summit on the crisis triggered by Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan. (AP)

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) rich countries on Tuesday decided to formulate a plan to deal with he Taliban in future but have set certain conditions that the group has to meet if it wants access to much-needed funds. 

The G7 nations will deal with Taliban but their number one condition is that the group must allow safe passage to Afghans wanting to leave the country even after an August 31 deadline, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 

"What we've done today, the G7, is we've ... agreed not just a joint approach to dealing with the evacuation, but also a roadmap for the way in which we're going to engage with the Taliban," Johnson said after an emergency virtual meeting of the leaders. 

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"The number one condition we're setting as G7 is that they've got to guarantee right the way through, through August 31 and beyond, safe passage for those who want to come out.

"Some of them will say that they don't accept that, some of them I hope will see the sense of that, because the G7 has very considerable leverage, economic, diplomatic and political."

European Union has decided to increase the aid to Afghanistan and neighbouring countries almost fourfold to $234 million (200 million euros) for the year 2021, said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. 

"This will help meet the urgent needs of Afghans both in Afghanistan but also in neighbouring host countries," she said. 

She said future development assistance has to be condition-based linked to fundamental human rights. 

EU has set aside one billion euros for Afghanistan's development in the next seven years. But the aid is frozen until the EU has solid guarantees that conditions are being met on the ground, she said. 

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Huge leverage

Boris Johnson said the "huge leverage" which the G7 could wield over the Taliban after it seized control of the country just over a week ago included withholding substantial funds.

"What we're saying is Afghanistan can't lurch back into becoming a breeding ground of terror, Afghanistan can't become a narco state, girls have got to be educated up to the age of 18," he said. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies