EU to host Afghanistan donors conference

The European Union will host an international donors conference for Afghanistan on 17-18 December in Brussels, a spokesperson of the European Commission has announced.

This first conference, co-chaired by the EU, the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia, will assess the most urgent needs for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and will be followed by another aid conference in January in Japan.

The UN has suggested a five-year plan to rebuild Afghanistan. Stable food supply is the first priority, to be followed by de-mining, rebuilding roads, restoring water, electricity and urban infrastructure, farm aid and rebuilding national institutions, said the Commission.

The EU’s current president, the Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, agreed with Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf at the weekend to speed up the political process in Afghanistan. Both sides agreed that no peacekeeping force should be deployed in Afghanistan before a multiethnic government has been agreed for the country.

The EU’s Development Commissioner, Poul Nielson, is scheduled to visit Kabul in December in order to assess the humanitarian situation. The EU is planning to set up a permanent office in Kabul in the near future. The EU has already contributed over 300 million euro in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and is willing to pledge more.

 

A United Nations-backed peace conference between different ethnic groups from Afghanistan will take place in Bonn on Tuesday, 27 November.

 

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