Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the website of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan (D-AF)

The Delegation for relations with Afghanistan is a standing body of the European Parliament, which I have the privilege of chairing since 26 September 2019 for the second legislative term. The delegation meets regularly in Brussels and Strasbourg with various interlocutors to discuss a broad range of issues.

Afghanistan continues to be in a difficult situation with challenges to come at national, regional and global level. On 28 September 2019, Afghanistan held its presidential elections. After a months-long electoral dispute, the Election Committee declared President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as the winner of the elections. Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah contested the result and formed a counter-government in the north of the country. On 29 February 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed the Afghanistan-U.S. Joint Statement for Peace in Doha, Qatar which could mark the beginning of a comprehensive peace process. This is definitely a window of opportunity, for Afghanistan and the whole region, to end four decades of death and destruction, which should be seized. Intra-Afghan negotiations are key to the peace process.

Against this background, the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan aims to keep the country high on the agenda. It is convinced that Afghanistan deserves the EU's continuous political and financial support, and this is also in the EU's best interests. In this context, the delegation participated as the only parliamentary body at the Brussels Donors' Conference of 4-5 October 2016 and expressed its support. In return, the EU rightly expects that Afghanistan will deliver results in various policy fields. Much progress has already been achieved; nevertheless, a lot still needs to be done. As a democratically directly elected body, the delegation believes that the European Parliament should accompany and scrutinise the EU's involvement in Afghanistan. When visiting Kabul, it holds an inter-parliamentary meeting (IPM) with the Afghan Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) and many other gatherings with national and international stakeholders. In December 2018, the delegation adopted an IPM joint-statement with Afghan MPs by underlining the mutual commitment.

I look forward to continuing this meaningful work with my D-AF colleagues.

Petras Auštrevičius
Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan