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EU High Representative Federica Mogherini on 8 February met the Minister of Finance of Afghanistan, Eklil Hakimi, ahead of the first meeting of the Joint EU-Afghanistan Committee. The leaders highlighted their mutual strong commitment to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and their renewed emphasis on reconciliation, regional cooperation, and sustainable development with real benefits to Afghan citizens.
In the context of a new EU strategy on Afghanistan, Europeans want to be a strong, reliable and indispensable partner for the people of Afghanistan, and work to concretely improve the lives of Afghan citizens. The European Union prioritises investment in education, in health, in human development, in democracy, and in security, aiming to alleviate poverty in Afghanistan by supporting initiatives to bolster the economy, and to promote human rights. The EU also wishes to focus the common efforts on strengthening good governance – including combatting corruption, and supporting refugees and migrants.
The Joint Committee held in Brussels discussed progress on the implementation of Afghanistan’s reform agenda agreed at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in October 2016, including human rights, gender equality including women’s rights and empowerment, development cooperation, trade and investment matters, migration, regional cooperation and connectivity. The EU stressed the importance of credible and timely elections in the country. The Joint Committee also established two Special Working Groups in order to further strengthen work in two main areas: Human Rights, Good Governance and Migration; and Economic and Social Development.