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NATO-led ISAF soldiers in Afghanistan
© dpa - Bildfunk
Afghanistan security linked with democratisation of Pakistan, says EU Parliament

July 09, 2008

The European Parliament (EP) adopted Tuesday, July 8, a report on Afghanistan which states that the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship has been the source of much of the region's instability, and therefore stabilising the region requires a comprehensive policy geared to that relationship.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) hope that, with the new government in Pakistan, the improvement of the bilateral relationship will receive a fresh impetus.

MEPs recognises that security in Afghanistan hinges to a very large extent on the democratisation of Pakistan.

The EP urges the international community to initiate and support measures that lessen tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, including a long-term programme to stabilise and develop the cross-border region, involving stakeholders on both sides.

It calls for a larger political role for the EU in Afghanistan and stresses the need to maintain the distinction between military and civilian actions by all actors.

The report adopted by a big majority in the House notes that "in Afghanistan, the EU is primarily known as a humanitarian organisation," and stresses that "there is also a need for the EU to be seen as having a stronger political influence."

The report expressed supports "to the efforts of NATO forces to improve security in the country and tackle local and international terrorism, and considers the presence of these forces to be essential in order to ensure the country's future."

Nevertheless, MEPs also say that "Afghanistan's security problems are more complex than just a war on terror and therefore they require more than a military solution."

The EP strongly criticizes EU member states for failing to contribute enough personnel to allow the EU police mission (EUPOL) in Afghanistan to be deployed at full strength, and asks the Council of EU Ministers to urgently examine this situation.

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