The European Union welcomes the announcement by President Barack Obama that the United States will further reinforce its engagement, inter alia in ISAF, as part of its continued commitment to Afghanistan. This announcement comes at a time of renewed focus and engagement by the international community as a whole. The European Union stands ready to work closely with the United States and other parts of the international community in addressing the challenges in Afghanistan.
The European Union underlines the need to maintain a comprehensive approach to the challenges in Afghanistan. A positive development will require a combination of political, military and civilian/development instruments, the main purpose of which should be to enable the government of Afghanistan to gradually assume full responsibility for the stabilisation and development of the country, and to deliver rapid, tangible results. The EU particularly emphasises the need for capacity building in Afghanistan.
The European Union further stresses the importance of close and strategic coordination of the international efforts, under the lead of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, in helping Afghanistan to put into practice the commitments made by President Hamid Karzai in his inauguration speech.
The European Union remains determined to enhance and improve its engagement in Afghanistan in accordance with the Plan for Strengthened EU Action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, adopted by the Council of the European Union on 27 October 2009, and reiterates its strategic partnership with the United States in the region.