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The chief negotiators of the European Union and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have today in Kabul initialled the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development (CAPD), in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani.
President Ghani, commending the work of the chief negotiators, underlined that the Agreement will mark a new phase of comprehensive cooperation and pave the way for a value-based partnership between the European Union and Afghanistan.
"Much progress has been made over the past 13 years, but many challenges remain for Afghanistan on the road ahead. The European Union has always been on the side of the Afghan people and with the Cooperation Agreement initialled today our relations will strengthen further. As we discussed with President Ghani in our last meeting, the EU is stepping up its engagement and many projects are underway, from human rights to human development, anti-corruption to alternatives to drug cultivation. Thanks to this agreement we will deepen our cooperation with the Afghan authorities to support sustainable development and a stable democratic country for all Afghans," stressed Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, to mark the initialling.
The Cooperation Agreement will be the first official, contractual framework governing cooperation between the EU and Afghanistan. It enshrines the EU's ten-year commitment to a partnership with Afghanistan to fulfil the Government's "Realising Self-Reliance" vision. It builds on the EU strategy 2014-16 for Afghanistan as well as the undertakings from previous international conferences.
The Agreement will provide the basis for developing a further mutually beneficial relationship in an increasing range of economic and political areas. It encompasses cooperation in areas such as rule of law, health, rural development, education, science and technology, as well as action to combat corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, organised crime and narcotics.
The Cooperation Agreement will also enable the EU and Afghanistan to jointly address questions of common concern, such as nuclear security, non-proliferation and climate change. Emphasis will be placed on holding regular political dialogue, including on human rights issues, in particular the rights of women and children, which are defined as essential elements of this agreement.