The EU’s High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met with President AshrafGhani and his delegation, including CEO Abdullah Abdullah, National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and Minister of Interior Wais Barmak, in Brussels on Wednesday and confirmed the EU’s continued support to Afghanistan.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the NATO Heads of State and Government summit.
According to a statement issued by the EU, 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,” the statement read.
“She 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,” read the statement.
The statement also said that 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.
In addition, Mogherini and Ghani discussed preparations of parliamentary elections scheduled for October 20.
“Inclusive, credible and transparent elections are an integral part of peace-building. Mogherini and Ghani stated the EU's availability to deploy an Election Expert Mission to monitor the elections,” the statement read.
Mogherini also reportedly 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,” the statement read.
Mogherini and Ghani agreed to keep in close contact in the coming weeks in preparation of the Geneva Ministerial Conference.
On Wednesday, delegates at the NATO summit issued a Brussels Summit Declaration which stated NATO nations had agreed to extend the financial assistance to Afghan forces for another period of four years after 2020.
“As the Afghan government continues to work towards peace and reconciliation, we will continue our assistance by extending our financial sustainment of the Afghan forces through 2024 and by pledging to fill staffing shortfalls, especially in priority areas,” the declaration said.
“We reaffirm our commitment to ensure long-term security and stability in Afghanistan,” the declaration added. “Our Resolute Support Mission is achieving success in training, advising, and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.”
On Thursday a key meeting between Resolute Support Operational Partner Nations and potential Operational Partner Nations will take place.