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Afghanistan Dominates EU Meeting

Published lördag 5 september 2009 kl 13.22
Carl Bildt and Javier Solana

Updated 16:31

The world has to do more to help the civilian population in Afghanistan according to European Union foreign ministers meeting in Stockholm. The 27 ministers want to open a so-called "Blue book" which will list what the EU is doing in the country, where projects overlap, and what more needs to be done.

Speaking to Radio Sweden, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that Afghanistan isn't a problem that can be solved by military means alone. He also welcomed the NATO investigation into Friday's bombing, which killed 90 people, calling every life lost in Afghanistan as a "tragedy".

Bildt also told journalists that more has to be done to fight the drug trade in the country, saying that poppy farming provides a huge income to the Taleban. He was supported by EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero Waldner, who also emphasised the need for civilian efforts to improve the lives of the Afghan people.

Ministers also discussed the troubles in the Middle East, with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Javier Solana calling for a stop to recent new settlements in the occupied territories. He also hopes for a new round of talks between the interested parties at the end of this month.

Solana also praised the Swedish presidency for the agenda of the meeting in Stockholm. Claiming he wasn't just saying it to be nice, Solana said that the decision to concentrate only on two issues gave the ministers a chance to have proper discussions and to make proper progress.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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