EU concerned at Afghan security, HR situation
KABUL (PAN): The European Union has called for Kabul to finalise negotiations rapidly on the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development (CAPD) in order to establish an appropriate framework for future support.
At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the EU Foreign Affairs Council reiterated its firm committed to supporting state-building and long-term development in Afghanistan.
In a statement, the council said the EU continued to be concerned at the overall security situation in Afghanistan, condemning indiscriminate attacks on civilians and the specific targeting of humanitarian aid organisations by insurgents.
While supporting an inclusive Afghan-led reconciliation process, it said lasting peace in the country would require a political settlement respecting the constitution, and comprising all national, regional and international stakeholders.
The opening of Taliban’s political office in Doha was an important step, the EU called on all political forces in Afghanistan to support the peace process and on the countries in the region to use their influence in this regard.
“The EU will continue to support preparations for presidential and provincial elections in April 2014 and parliamentary elections in 2015,” the council promised, stressing the polls must be inclusive, transparent and credible.
“It is particularly important that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) is widely accepted as impartial, that a credible electoral complaints mechanism is agreed upon, robust and effective fraud prevention mechanisms are put in place...
The council said the EU would continue to support reform efforts to foster the economic growth necessary for increased fiscal sustainability and the creation of jobs.
In particular, it said, the government of Afghanistan needed to do more to stimulate the agricultural sector, which will be the engine for economic growth in the short term and will continue to be the main source of employment for Afghans, as well as being vital for food security.
“The EU remains concerned about the human rights situation in Afghanistan. The EU calls on the government to take urgent action to address the unconstitutional position of the chief justice. Wider judicial reform is necessary to better implement the statutory measures concerning the rights of women...”
As it continues to prioritise the war on drug production and trafficking, the EU said the issue should be addressed through coordination of efforts at interdiction, alternative livelihoods and other relevant measures.
The Council welcomed the nomination of Franz-Michael S. Mellbin as EU special representative for Afghanistan and thanked Vygaudas Usackas for his outstanding service.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.