EU-Afghanistan Confirm They Will Co-Host Brussels Summit

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The European Union and the government of Afghanistan issued a joint statement on Tuesday confirming they will co-host the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan next week – bringing together more than 70 countries and 20 international organizations and agencies.

The conference will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday next week in Brussels.

The aim of the summit is to endorse a realistic program of reforms to bring about the Afghan government’s vision and to ensure continued international political and financial support for political and economic stability, state-building and development over the coming four years.

According to the statement, the conference is taking place under the patronage of President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, who will open the event.

Securing financial support over the course of the next four years and increasing the effectiveness of aid, on the basis of a new national development framework, is crucial for the stabilization of the country.

Development and security remain interdependent challenges and need to be underpinned by genuine political support.

This will involve the international community, and in particular Afghanistan’s neighbors, building on an emerging regional consensus oriented towards peace and cross-border economic cooperation.

“The Afghans need peace and stability, and we all, the European Union included, have a strong interest in supporting them”, said the High Representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini.

“This country has shown its determination, in the face of considerable challenges, to continue on the path to democracy and development. The international community, starting with our European Union, needs to keep supporting the efforts of the Afghan people towards prosperity and peace, not only financially but also politically. Our conference is the moment to do just that,” she said.

The High Representative will co-chair the conference on behalf of the EU along with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Development Cooperation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani and Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi will co-chair on behalf of Afghanistan.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will also be present.

Hakimi said: “The Government of Afghanistan is looking forward to sharing our plans to achieve self-reliance for our people with our international partners. We are also pleased to let them know about our achievements since 2014. The Brussels Conference is an opportunity for Afghanistan and its partners to reaffirm their commitments to a shared vision of peace, stability and prosperity for Afghanistan.”

High level events focusing on women’s empowerment and regional integration will take place on the margins of the conference, on Tuesday.

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