Speculation Rife of Taliban Expelling Pauwels as EU Delegation Head Leaves Afghanistan

Tuesday, 08/23/2022

Arnout Pauwels, head of the European Union’s (EU) delegation in Kabul, announced the end of his tenure.

Pauwels, who seems to have been expelled by the Taliban, wrote on Twitter, “You can take the diplomat out of Afghanistan, but you can’t take Afghanistan out of the diplomat.”

Pauwels stressed that he will be leaving Afghanistan on Tuesday and stated that it is a turbulent time.

According to Pauwels, Raffaella Iodice will soon replace him as the head of the EU delegation in Afghanistan.

The appointment of a female diplomat as the head of the EU delegation in Kabul is symbolically interpreted as the strict stance of the European Union regarding its support of women's rights in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Pauwels in his interview with TOLOnews had emphasised that the reopening of girls' schools is the priority for the European Union in Afghanistan. He listed women's right to work, human rights, media freedom, and the formation of an effective and inclusive political system as other priorities of the EU delegation.

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