Council conclusions on Afghanistan - 2674th General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting - Brussels, 18 Jul 2005

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"The Council welcomes the planned deployment of an EU Election Observer Mission to Afghanistan in late July. The Parliamentary and Provincial elections on 18 September 2005 mark a further milestone in Afghanistan's democratic development and the EU will do its utmost to monitor and assist the successful holding of the elections in a secure environment. In this regard, some EU Member States will deploy troops with UN authorisation and under NATO command.

The EU remains committed to long-term support for the Government and people of Afghanistan to achieve security, stability and sustainable reconstruction. The EU stands ready to continue its support to efforts at establishing a sustainable democratic system and to the promotion of human rights including gender equality in Afghanistan for the lasting security of the Afghan people. It stresses in this context the importance of Afghan ownership of this process.

The EU reaffirms its aim to increase commitments in support of Afghanistan's institution building, including efforts aimed at strengthening the rule of law, public administration, the police and the judicial system. In this context, it particularly supports the 2005 Counter-Narcotics Implementation Plan and National Drugs Control Strategy, especially measures to promote alternative livelihoods.

The Council invites the High Representative and the Commission, with the support of EUSR Vendrell, to bring forward proposals for a comprehensive framework for the EU-Afghanistan relationship following the September 2005 elections."