- It is a pleasure to be back in Kabul at a critical moment for the country to express our full support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and its full implementation, HRVP Federica Mogherini said after talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
She urged the Taliban to enter into direct peace talks with the Afghan government.
- First of all, a ceasefire should be agreed by the Taliban for peace talks with the Afghan government.
- An inclusive negotiation team should be established, with representatives of all Afghan society, including women. It is in the interest of the result of the peace negotiations that we need women at the table.
High Representative Mogherini stated that a future peace settlement must not only end the fighting, but also maintain the political, economic and social achievements made since 2001.
- The EU will always been on the side of the Afghan people, with no other agenda than peace, security, human right and development for the country and we will continue to do so, Mogherini stated.
Arriving directly from Pakistan, HRVP Mogherini recalled that the neighbouring countries are crucial in building peace in the region.
- The Pakistan leadership clearly delivered a message that talks should start immediately between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The EU works for an inclusive Afghan peace process and commits to the country long-term.
- We try to guarantee first that the peace process belongs to the Afghan people and the Afghan institutions and that there is no step backwards when it comes to democracy, the constitutional set-up and in particular human rights, rule of law and all the achievements that have been gained specially for women, children and minorities in the country.
In her meetings with the Afghan leaders, Mogherini stressed that the electoral process should not be jeopardized by the on-going peace negotiations.
- Enter negotiations as if there were no elections, united as a country, and go through with the elections as if there were no negotiations!
The visit underlined the EU's concrete support for a future Afghan peace settlement, a five-point offer the EU made last November:
1) helping the government to make the peace process more inclusive;
2) supporting reforms, including security sector reform;
3) providing incentives for the reintegration of ex-combatants;
4) having the EU as a guarantor of the peace process;
5) supporting cross-border trade and infrastructure, as well as regional connectivity.
The five-point plan carries prospects for a large investment agenda, both in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries.
Last November, the EU committed to a new assistance package for Afghanistan with focus on public sector reform, in particular on investing in basic service delivery and the country's macro-economic stability and finance policies.
Coming from Pakistan with a stop-over in Kabul, HRVP Mogherini also paid a visit to the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, where she held talks with Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.