- Title: Tight security in Brussels as world powers convene to raise funds for Afghanistan
- Date: 5th October 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) POLICE VANS PASSING BY EU COUNCIL BUILDING POLICE OFFICER TALKING TO CAR DRIVER SIGN FOR AFGHANISTAN CONFERENCE ON EU COUNCIL BUILDING / POLICE VEHICLES POLICE, SECURITY OFFICERS VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICERS CARRYING BARRIERS AND FENCING OFF AREA AROUND COUNCIL POLICE VAN DRIVING BY VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICERS STANDING OUTSIDE BUILDING EU COUNCIL WINDOWS SECURITY OFFICERS ARRANGING BARRIERS EXTERIOR OF EU COUNCIL
- Embargoed: 20th October 2016 07:51
- Keywords: Afghanistan Ghani EU Kerry
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00152QAB0N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:There was tight security in Brussels on Wednesday (October 5) for the second day of an international conference aimed at raising billions of more dollars for Afghanistan to keep the country running until 2020.
However, hopes for a new start to peace talks were overshadowed by a surge in Taliban insurgent violence.
Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion that ousted Taliban rulers who harboured jihadists behind the attacks on New York and Washington, Afghanistan remains reliant on international aid and faces resurgent militants that threaten its progress.
The two-day, European Union-led donor conference is seeking fresh funds, despite Western public fatigue with their governments' involvement in Afghanistan.
Around 70 governments, including the United States, Russia, Iran, China and India, are attending, with pledges to be made on Wednesday.
A prosperous Afghanistan could mean fewer refugees into Europe, an end to its status as a haven for militant groups hostile to the West and more effective police action against its billion-dollar narcotics trade.
For Moscow, which invaded in 1979 and spent a decade trying to control the country, the stability of the central Asian region is paramount. It has its largest foreign military base on the Afghan border, in Tajikistan, and an interest in keeping out the drugs that are trafficked and consumed in Russia.
But even with billions of dollars spent by the United States and NATO for Afghan security forces, some 30 percent of the Afghan population lives in territory that the government does not fully control, according to Western officials.
At the Brussels conference, officials will pursue total pledges of $3 billion a year for the 2017-2020 period.
That is lower than the $4 billion a year pledged at the last conference in Tokyo in 2012, partly because Afghanistan is raising its own revenues and because of donor fatigue.
Eighty percent of Afghanistan's budget is financed by aid.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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