Donors to help embattled government of Afghanistan

Afghanistan's leaders and officials from over 70 nations are gathering in Brussels seeking to drum up billions of dollars for the cash-strapped government as it battles a powerful Taliban insurgency and rampant corruption.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday that the EU "will pledge 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) and we would expect a similar level engagement from our partners."

She denied reports the bloc is making aid conditional on Afghanistan taking back people who have fled to Europe, saying there is "never a link between our development aid and what we do on migration."

With donor fatigue growing after 15 years of war, EU officials said ahead of the meeting that it was unclear whether the target of $4 billion would be reached.