European Union foreign ministers have named Spanish diplomat Francesc Vendrell as the union's new special representative in Afghanistan.
Mr. Vendrell will replace German diplomat Klaus-Peter Klaiber later this month. The Spanish diplomat has extensive experience in Asia and served most recently as U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan's personal representative in Afghanistan.
Earlier, E-U officials in Brussels announced that the union will allocate nearly nine million dollars to help finance the return of Afghan refugees to their homes.
The officials said the funds will be used to provide transport, basic supplies, shelter and medical aid to the refugees. The grant will also help finance training of teachers for schools in Afghanistan.
The Associated Press says the latest allocation brings E-U aid to Afghanistan this year to more than 26-million dollars.