Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of European Commission, met today with Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and his delegation, including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and Minister of Interior Wais Barmak, on the occasion of his visit to Brussels to attend the NATO summit.
High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini reaffirmed the EU's long-term commitment to Afghanistan. Mogherini confirmed the Union's strong support for an Afghan-led and -owned peace process following President Ghani's unprecedented peace offer to the Taliban earlier this year and the successful ceasefire last month.
High Representative Mogherini reiterated the EU's commitment to concretely support and accompany the forthcoming peace process with all its means. Building on the regional Ministerial meeting organised by the High Representative/Vice-President in October 2016, the EU will work actively over the coming weeks and months to further regional consensus for peace, including in the margins of the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan. The Geneva Ministerial Conference, to be hosted by the United Nations in November 2018, should send an important signal in support of concrete progress for peace in Afghanistan.
The EU will keep working closely with Central Asian and other regional partners to enhance connectivity and regional infrastructure, as discussed at the Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan in March 2017.
High Representative Mogherini and President Ghani discussed the preparations of Parliamentary Elections that are to take place on 20 October. Inclusive, credible and transparent elections are an integral part of peace-building. The High Representative/Vice-President stated the EU's availability to deploy an Election Expert Mission to monitor the elections.
Federica Mogherini commended the Afghan government for progress made in their reform efforts. Last August, the EU and Afghanistan strengthened their development partnership through a State-Building Contract. Following the first payment of €100 million of on-budget assistance as part of this contract, the second payment will be released in the coming weeks.
High Representative Mogherini and President Ghani agreed to keep in close contact in the coming weeks in preparation of the Geneva Ministerial Conference.
For more information:
EU-Afghanistan relations factsheet
Delegation of the European Union to Afghanistan
Opening Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan: "Peace process, security cooperation and regional connectivity"