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EU Promises To Continue Major Aid To Afghanistan

The EU's Ferrero-Waldner (file photo) 8 September 2005 -- The European Union today said it will continue to provide "substantial aid" to Afghanistan in coming years.

But EU external relations chief Benita Ferrero-Waldner said today the international community and Afghanistan
must forge a new agreement to replace the accord on political support for Kabul agreed on in Bonn in 2001.

Ferrero-Waldner said new aid pledges -- including a "substantial amount of money" from the EU -- were expected, but
added that Afghan authorities will also be asked to take on "ownership" of their own development.

Total aid to Afghanistan from the joint EU budget and member-state contributions is estimated at over $1 billion
euros, pledged at a conference in Tokyo for the 2002-2006 period.