Afghanistan: towards taking ownership
At the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 24 June, ministers discussed the situation in Afghanistan from a political, development and security perspective. In the conclusions they adopted, they stressed the EU's firm commitment to supporting state-building and long-term development in Afghanistan.
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The EU "continues to be concerned at the overall security situation in Afghanistan" and will "continue to support Afghan efforts to strengthen civilian policing and the rule of law during transition and the decade of transformation."
Reconciliation and peace
Also, support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process will continue. The EU calls on all political forces in Afghanistan to support the peace process. Lasting peace "will require an inclusive political settlement respecting the Afghan Constitution."
Development and humanitarian assistance
The European Union is a major donor of development and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The EU and its Member States contribute more than EUR 1 billion per year. Currently, this assistance focuses on the country's economic growth (agriculture, social development and health) and capacity building (governance, rule of law and civilian policing). Future assistance will build on Afghanistan's national priority programmes.
With a view to defining a new EU strategy in relation to Afghanistan, the Council will hold a debate in the second half of 2013. The new strategy should be ready for endorsement by mid 2014.