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Council adopts conclusions on the Afghanistan peace process and future EU support for peace and development in the country

The EU stands by the people of Afghanistan

The Council adopted conclusions reaffirming the EU’s political commitment to support the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security, stability, democracy, prosperity and self-reliance. The EU will condition its future political and financial support to ensure that the republican, democratic and values-based principles are protected and further promoted. The conclusions also reiterate the EU’s support for a negotiated political settlement leading to lasting peace and reconciliation, which must build on the democratic and human rights achievements of the past 19 years.

In its conclusions, the Council calls on the Taliban to build trust and confidence allowing the prompt start of intra-Afghan negotiations on the basis of the sufficient numbers of prisoners already released. The Taliban should respect both the spirit and letter of their bilateral Agreement with the government of the United States signed in Doha on 29 February 2020. In this regard, the EU strongly condemns attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel and facilities, including the horrific attack at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul of 12 May.

The EU, in line with the appeal made by the Secretary General of the United Nations on 23 March 2020, calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to focus efforts on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and to save lives on all sides. All political actors in Afghanistan should contribute to mitigate the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cooperate to create an overall context to tackle it.

The conclusions stress that the EU stands ready to provide political and financial support for the people of Afghanistan by:

(1) supporting the Geneva Ministerial Pledging Conference

(2) strengthening EU assistance for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic

(3) using all instruments available in full cooperation and complementarity with the UN, NATO and regional partners, to contribute to the stabilisation of the country

(4) supporting institutional reform and capacity-building, including in the sectors of security and defence, based on the principles of democratic governance and on human rights

(5) assisting with the reintegration of former fighters as well as their families, the victims of conflict and the most vulnerable, including through specialised child protection programmes

(6) Promoting regional cooperation, stability, peace, trade and sustainable connectivity in line with “Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy” as adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council in October 2018

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