On Monday 14 September, Josep Borell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, spoke by telephone with Ashraf Ghani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The High Representative welcomed the launch of the direct Intra-Afghan Negotiations between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement in Doha on 12 September. The High Representative praised the constructive approach demonstrated by the Afghan government that enabled the launch of negotiations to take place. He stressed his hope that the launch could be the opening of a much-needed and long overdue peaceful chapter for Afghanistan. He reiterated that this peace process must be inclusive and preserve and build on the political, economic and social achievements of the citizens of Afghanistan since 2001, including women’s rights. The European Union stands ready to support the process.
The High Representative/Vice-President and President Ghani discussed the security situation in Afghanistan. The High Representative recalled that the still unacceptably high level of violence in Afghanistan contradicts the spirit of a meaningful peace process and renewed his call to the parties to accompany the start of the peace talks with an immediate, comprehensive, nationwide and unconditional ceasefire.
The High Representative/Vice-President stressed the EU’s readiness to remain engaged and to fulfil its political commitments towards the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security, stability and self-reliance. However, the EU’s future political, diplomatic and financial support is not unconditional and will depend on political progress and the peace process.