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EU-Afghan group concerned at high level of violence

EU-Afghan group concerned at high level of violence

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25 Feb 2021 - 11:11
EU-Afghan group concerned at high level of violence
author avatar
25 Feb 2021 - 11:11

KABUL (Pajhwok): European Union and Afghan officials have discussed human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the Taliban in Doha.

The EU-Afghanistan Special Working Group on Human Rights, Good Governance and Migration held its third meeting on Wednesday virtually.

A statement from EU said the parties involved voiced grave concern over the continuing high level of violence, and condemned the increasing number of targeted killings of media workers, civil society activists and law enforcement personnel.

The EU urged the Afghan government to provide for the security of the important actors in society, conduct thorough investigations, bring the culprits to justice and keep the public fully informed about the measures taken.

It also underlined the importance of respecting and promoting International Humanitarian Law. All parties to the conflict were asked to protect civilians.

The bloc stressed:  “The protection of civilians, medical and education facilities as well as humanitarian workers, cannot wait for peace. The parties stressed that only an immediate cessation of violence would restore confidence in the sincerity of the Taliban for a political settlement.”

Both sides agreed on greater promotion of inclusivity in the peace talks, notably the involvement of women, youth, minorities, internally displaced persons, refugees and victims of war, to ensure the ownership of the process by all Afghans.

They called for the preservation and further strengthening of the democratic and human rights gains of the last 20 years is indispensable during and after the peace process, and recalled the broad-based consensus on this, as expressed at the Geneva Conference for Afghanistan in November 2020.

“In the areas of women and children’s rights, the necessity to enforce legislation against widespread violence and harmful practices was highlighted, as well as the need to address discrimination against religious minorities.”

With regard to governance, the EU and Afghanistan called for free, fair, credible, transparent and inclusive electoral processes, facilitating a legitimate transfer of power. The experiences of their electoral cooperation and the prospects of continuing electoral reform were also discussed.

The statement said “Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) issues were also addressed, in view of the EU’s ongoing assessment of Afghanistan’s AML/CFT regime.”

The parties conferred on the measures taken by the Afghan Government and commended their coordination in the area of anti-corruption policy and institutional reforms.



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