Summary: 23 March 2011, Brussels - Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made yesterday the following statement in response to President Karzai's announcement on transition in Afghanistan:
This morning, President Karzai announced the start of the transition process in Afghanistan. The Afghan Government, supported by the international community, is embarking on a crucial period during which strong Afghan leadership will be of the essence.
With leadership comes accountability, both to the Afghan people as well as to international undertakings.
The EU stands ready to further support the transition process, in particular in the areas of governance, development and police reform.
The EU has a long-term commitment to assist Afghanistan with strengthening its democratic institutions, economic and social development, and to promoting effective regional cooperation. In this context, the EU is ready to further develop its own political and economic ties with Afghanistan.