News - Afghanistan
The newly appointed British Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karen Pierce, assured on Tuesday that the international community has not completely ended financial aid to Afghan electoral institutions, rather just suspended it. As soon as reforms are brought to the country's electoral system, the aid is expected to resume.
Ambassador Pierce's comments come after news that funding for elections would be cut sparked renewed outrage about the lack of progress on electoral reform. Although parliamentary elections were scheduled for this year, the national unity government's inability to reform the electoral system has caused them to be pushed back.
"I think reform is very much needed, including in elections, including on human rights," Ambassador Pierce said on Tuesday. "But Afghanistan is making progress, we had the London Conference in November of last year, where we were able to work with the Afghan government to set out a priority program for reforms and there will be various meetings throughout this year to take that forward," she added.
According to Pierce, the UK is expected to provide 178 million pound sterling in aid to Afghanistan through 2017.
The senior British diplomat also touched on the peace process, which she expressed strong support for. She said Daesh and Taliban are terrorists without the same interests and values as Afghans.
"The peace process is being led by the Afghan government, and its something that we are supporting [...] We have been following President Ghani's attempt to reach out to Pakistan and Prime Minister Nawaz's visit here was very important," Pierce said. "Regional stability is an important part of the peace process and as the UK we will be doing what can to support the two leaders as they take things forward."