Taliban Official Extends Europe Tour: Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia

Saturday, 11/18/2023

Abdul Bari Omar, the Taliban's director of the Food and Drug Administration, recently stated on the X social platform that he is still in Europe following his visit to the Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, and Germany.

Omar revealed he had engaged with various "Afghan ambassadors and diplomats" during his tour, though the identities of these officials were not disclosed. Despite withholding names, Omar promised to release photos of these meetings soon.

Previously, images showcasing Omar's participation in events in the Netherlands and Germany had surfaced, eliciting strong public reactions. The specifics regarding how Omar obtained a visa from a European country remain unclear.

The German Foreign Ministry and the Dutch Health Minister, Ernst Kuipers, have both declared intentions to investigate Omar's visit to their countries. This visit has been contentious, with many critics decrying it as an attempt to legitimise the Taliban, known for their human rights abuses.

A photo depicting Omar alongside Minister Kuipers has been particularly controversial, drawing criticism from figures like Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands. Wilders condemned the photo as a "scandal" and "shameful," criticising Kuipers for being photographed with a member of the Taliban, which he labels as a group of "murderers and extremists."

Kuipers responded to the backlash by expressing his unawareness of Omar's Taliban affiliation at the time of the photo and regretting the interaction. He also announced an investigation into how Omar managed to attend a conference in The Hague.

Kuipers further addressed the issue on the X social platform, admitting that taking the photo was a mistake and something that should have never occurred.

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