EU and Afghanistan launch new phase of cooperation

KABUL (TCA) — The European Union and Afghanistan have launched, in the framework of the inaugural Joint EU-Afghanistan Committee, a new phase of cooperation and partnership aiming to bolster security, good governance, economic growth and human rights in the country, the EU said.

The first meeting of the Joint Committee established under the EU-Afghanistan Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development (CAPD) was held in Brussels on February 8.

Ahead of the Joint Committee, a bilateral meeting between the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Eklil Hakimi took place, where they emphasized their strong commitment to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Minister Hakimi also met with the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, to discuss the EU’s contribution to sustainable development in Afghanistan as well as the importance of Afghanistan’s reform agenda and related EU support for the benefit of the Afghan people.

The Joint Committee enabled the EU and Afghanistan to discuss progress on the implementation of Afghanistan’s reform agenda agreed at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in October 2016, notably the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) and the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF).

The Joint Committee discussed the many areas of cooperation that have been reinforced as a result of the provisional entry into force of the CAPD on December 1, 2017 including, inter alia, human rights, gender equality including women’s rights and empowerment, development cooperation, trade and investment matters, migration, regional cooperation and connectivity. They also addressed cooperation on natural resources and financial services, as well as the security situation in Afghanistan.

The EU reaffirmed its strong support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and to promote good governance and the need for fighting corruption effectively. The EU stressed the importance of credible and timely elections in the country. Strengthening cooperation on migration through existing frameworks such as the Joint Way Forward was also discussed. The two sides addressed pressing humanitarian issues linked to the efficient delivery of aid to the people in need.

The Joint Committee also established two Special Working Groups in order to further strengthen work on specific topics: a Special Working Group on Human Rights, Good Governance and Migration; and a Special Working Group on Economic and Social Development.

The next meeting of the Joint Committee will be held in Kabul in 2019.


Times of Central Asia