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Estonia Wants Comprehensive Co-operation Between EU and NATO in Future Support of Afghanistan

28.06.2013

No 214-E

It is essential to continue providing aid to Afghanistan early in the transition period as well as after the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) departs from Afghanistan next year, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said at the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Luxembourg today.

Paet said that NATO and the European Union have been good partners to Afghanistan and it is essential to continue supporting one another after the year 2014, when the international forces will leave Afghanistan and responsibility for security will be on the Afghan authorities. “The European Union’s post-2104 Afghanistan strategy must be compiled in close co-operation with NATO and other partners,” he noted.

The Estonian foreign minister added that Estonia supports continuing the European Union police mission in Afghanistan after 2014 and that co-operation from NATO in ensuring the security of the mission is welcome. “The European Union’s areas of activity will remain development of rule of law and strengthening the police force,” he explained.

The foreign minister also stated that Afghanistan is continuing to make preparations for free elections and carry out reforms in order to enliven the economy, as well as engaging in regional co-operation. “It is essential that the European Union supports the formation of the necessary legal framework for carrying out free elections in Afghanistan,” he emphasised.

“The Afghans expect the attention and aid of the international community after 2014 as well,” Paet confirmed. “The European Union can support the holding of elections and the development of the police force, as well as co-ordinate the activities of donor countries and plan out joint aid activities. Estonia would like to contribute to the Afghan security forces by continuing to provide training and funding and through giving development aid,” he said.

Paet added that achieving a comprehensive domestic political agreement is necessary for the future stable development of Afghanistan.

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