Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-06-12-Speech-2-519-000"

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"Mr President, Lady Ashton, when the NATO forces leave Afghanistan in 2014, will the country be able to take its future into its own hands in a peaceful way? As things stand, that does not seem likely. First of all, Mr Karzai’s government is weak, it is embroiled in corruption controversies, it is internally divided and it is split over the importance of reconciliation. Secondly, the Afghan army is still not able to take over the role of the NATO troops and, thirdly, there is still very little in the way of Afghan leadership in the negotiations between the parties and in the region. They are being dominated by Washington, with its own American agenda, and that will not lead to a successful outcome. This conflict will not end without a negotiated political agreement, but Mr Karzai’s government is unlikely to be in a position to contribute to that. The International Crisis Group made a good suggestion: let the UN team of mediators, accepted by all parties, provide a realistic new start to the negotiations. I am curious as to how Lady Ashton will respond to this proposal. Perhaps, the EU could insist on this. The EU’s role must be political, about more than material assistance, more than simply the training of police officers, and also more than the financial assistance that we must continue to provide. Whatever happens, the EU should continue to support the strengthening of Afghan democracy, Afghan institutions, the electoral system, decentralisation of power, the consolidation of local parties and local authorities. This, together with the fight against corruption, is essential for a credible, viable administration after 2014."@en1

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