EU stresses continued global support for Afghanistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): Participants of the just-concluded Brussels Conference have promised continued international support for Afghanistan’s political and economic stability, the European Union said on Thursday.
A self-reliant, prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan is a priority for the European Union, Afghanistan, its neighbours and the international community, a statement from EU said.
The conference delivered a reform agenda from the Afghan government and regional support and engagement in the country’s political and economic stability and development.
It was co-chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, on behalf of the European Union.
On behalf of Afghanistan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani and Minister of FinanceEklil Ahmad Hakimi co-chaired the event, which was held under the patronage of the European CouncilPresident Donald Tuskand President Ashraf Ghani.
The conference adopted a Joint communiqué renewing the Partnership for Peace and Development, which reflects the breadth of the international community’s engagement over the coming four years.
This includes political and financial support, amounting to €13.6 billion for the period 2017-2020, and will be accompanied by continued and accountable reforms on the ground.
The European Union and member states are together the largest donor, expecting to provide up to €5 billion, including all funding sources, of this overall figure.
In her welcome address, the High Representative emphasised that support for Afghanistan is crucial not only for the Afghan people and the future of Afghanistan, but also for the region and the wider international community.
She said: “Afghanistan stands at the crossroads of Central Asia and the Indian Ocean, of South Asia and the Middle East. It can become a crucial hub for economic growth in the area and for connectivity among different parts of the world.
“Today we see an emerging regional consensus for greater economic but also diplomatic and political cooperation towards a stable, secure, and democratic Afghanistan. Here in Brussels we have set the stage for a new regional and international deal for peace and development in the country.”
Mogherinialso organized a meeting of key international partners, including United Nations Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moonand U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, regional partners at ministerial level, including the China, India and Pakistan.
She found among the participants a common basis for stepping up regional political support to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
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