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Afghanistan: EU joins regional players and UN to plan new deal for peace, security and development

25/03/2018 - 17:27
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On 26-27 March, EU High Representative Mogherini is in Uzbekistan to open the international Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan: "Peace process, security cooperation and regional connectivity". The conference brings together Afghanistan, the five Central Asian countries, the United Nations and other stakeholders to support peace-making efforts in the country, as well as local and regional development.

Afghanistan Helmand, agriculture, development, EU

The conference comes one month after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered to the Taliban to engage in a peace process, during the second meeting on the "Kabul Process".

The Tashkent Conference will build on the Brussels Conference for Afghanistan of November 2016, where the international community pledged over 15 billion dollars in support of peace, security and economic development in Afghanistan. The European Union and its Member States are collectively the largest international donor to Afghanistan and its people, with more than 5 billion dollars in investment committed for 2017-2020. The Brussels Conference also fostered dialogue among Afghanistan's neighbours, regional and international powers, in support of peace in the country.

Mogherini will address the conference as an opening speaker on 27 March. She will also hold, in the margins of the conference, a number of bilateral meetings, including with the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, as well as several Ministers.

The visit to Tashkent will also be an opportunity to push forward cooperation between the European Union and the five Central Asian Republics. Four months after the most recent formal EU-Central Asia Foreign Ministers' Meeting, chaired by the High Representative in Samarkand in November 2017, Federica Mogherini will again meet the five Foreign Ministers in order to discuss recent developments in the region and ways to take the EU's engagement forward, in particular in view of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia which is currently being developed and following a meeting of Central Asian leaders held in Astana on 15 March, which gave new momentum to regional cooperation.