On Tuesday, 27 October, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet participated in the meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where the foreign ministers adopted the practical action plan for the European Union’s future activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “This strategy shows that the European Union is striving for better co-ordination and a more coherent approach in its activities,” said Foreign Minister Paet.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that the Afghanistan and Pakistan action plan marks a new step in the European Union’s common foreign policy, containing concrete goals and joint courses of action in essential sectors like rule of law, administrative capability, economics, and human rights. “One area of critical importance is increasing the administrative capacity of the Afghans,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “The European Union, in co-operation with other international contributors, must find a solution for how to increase Afghanistan’s administrative capability on both the regional and local level,” Paet added. The Estonian foreign minister stated that the European Union’s support is of the utmost importance in enlivening economic and trade relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and in border patrol issues. “Effective co-operation between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the EU and NATO, as well as continued support for UNAMA are essential, since the stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border areas and the resulting security situation are very closely related,” Paet acknowledged. Foreign Minister Paet confirmed that the new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan consists of three main sections. The first part of the action plan addresses regional co-operation, co-ordination and transatlantic relations, the second part addresses the European Union’s activity in Afghanistan, and the third part developments in Pakistan.
While talking about the situation in Afghanistan, the European Union foreign policy leaders expressed regret that the first round of presidential elections in Afghanistan was marked by fraud. The European Union foreign ministers expressed hope that the Afghans could avoid such problems in the second round and organise trustworthy and safe elections on 7 November. “After the successful completion of the second round of presidential elections, the new Afghan government must begin to carry out its campaign promises and the nation must accept greater responsibility in resolving problems that have lasted for years,” noted Foreign Minister Paet.
The European Union foreign ministers discussed Moldova’s domestic political and economic situation and potentially giving additional financial aid. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet thinks it is in Europe’s interest for Moldova to come out of the critical financial and economic situation and be able to ensure the nation’s stable development and continue carrying out needed reforms. Foreign Minister of the EU Presidency Carl Bildt gave an overview of the European Union Troika’s visit to Moldova. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the European Union’s relations with Moldova are becoming tighter and the European Union is ready to begin negotiations for a new European Union-Moldova framework agreement.
The foreign ministers’ council also discussed the situation in Sri Lanka in relation to the complicated humanitarian situation following the military conflict and adopted conclusions that place primary focus on the situation of internally displaced refugees in closed camps under the control of the Sri Lankan military.
Paet: We Need Unified European Union Action in Afghanistan