Afghanistan: Council adopts conclusions on Afghanistan’s peace process
The Council today discussed the situation in Afghanistan. Foreign ministers focused on current peace efforts and how the EU can best contribute to these efforts. The Council adopted conclusions on the Afghanistan’s peace process. In the conclusions, the Council reaffirms its political commitment and long-term support to the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security and prosperity. The EU encourages the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to intensify their efforts towards a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the conflict.
The Council recommends that direct negotiations between Afghans, with the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban at their core begin as soon as possible.
It confirms the EU’s readiness to support the peace process and its implementation, wit the aim of preserving and building on the political, economic and social achievements of the people of Afghanistan since 2001, which should be irreversible. The EU stands ready to support the following aspects of the process:
to help make the peace process inclusive; to assist with reforms, including security sector reform; to act as a guarantor of a peace process, if requested by the parties; to assist with reintegration of fighters and their families and to promote regional trade and connectivity.
The Council considers it important that a peace agreement be negotiated in an inclusive way, that it be approved by the government of Afghanistan and that it: entails the renunciation of violence; counters any threat of transnational terrorist organisations acting from Afghan territory; adheres to the rule of law and respect for the universal human rights of all Afghans, in particular as regards women, children, and persons belonging to minorities; ensures the continuity of the Afghan State, its institutions, and the constitutional order; allows for possibilities to ensure accountability, including through transitional justice, and to address the grievances of the victims of the conflict in Afghanistan.
The EU reiterates the importance of the meaningful participation of women in all peace initiatives, including formal and informal peace negotiations.
The EU also reiterates the importance of holding inclusive, credible and transparent presidential, provincial council and district council elections in 2019, which are an essential element for a strengthened democracy and stability in Afghanistan.
The Council last adopted conclusions on Afghanistan on 19 November 2018, in which it reiterated its long-term commitment to support the people of Afghanistan in their path towards peace, security and prosperity, and where it stated that a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is a cornerstone for the stability and development of the entire region.
It also underlined the importance of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, and stated that progress in regional economic cooperation and connectivity projects will bring tangible benefits to the people of Afghanistan and reinforce current peace efforts.
Since 2002, the European Union has provided €3.66 billion in development and humanitarian aid, making it the fourth largest donor in support of the Afghan people. Afghanistan is also the largest beneficiary of EU development assistance.
Together with its member states, the European Union contributes more than €1 billion in development assistance per year to Afghanistan. At the October 2016 Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, the European Union and its member states pledged €5 billion in support for Afghanistan in the period 2016-2020.
In November 2018, the European Commission allocated €474 million to support state building and public sector reform, health, justice, and elections, as well as address migration and displacement challenges in Afghanistan.