Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies

under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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KazISS Receives Delegation UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

On May 4, the KazISS under the President of Kazakhstan received the delegation of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in Astana. The delegation comprised of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Adviser Stephen Brooking, Special Assistant Hideo Ikebe, and Political Assistant Maciej Dahovski. The Kazakhstan party was represented by the KazISS Deputy Director Sanat Kushkumbayev, Head of the UN Security Council Department of the Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Azamat Kairolda, and Research Fellow of the KazISS Foreign Policy and International Security Department Anastasia Reshetnyak.

The discussion focused on the peaceful settlement in Afghanistan and the contribution therein by the countries of Central Asia, namely Kazakhstan. Successful peace settlement in Afghanistan, according to Tadamichi Yamamoto, is dependent, among other things, on the cooperation the Afghan authorities maintain with the countries of Central Asia and integration of the existing facilities into one regional infrastructure.

The role of the Taliban in the conflict resolution process was also considered by the participating experts as well as its internal structure and organizational methods and the external players. The experts discussed the Daesh activity in Afghanistan and the issue of foreign fighters who, according to Stephen Brooking retain the strongest positions in the East and Southeast provinces of Afghanistan accounting to more than 1500 people as estimated by the UN mission. Stephen Brooking expressed his concerns about the close ties with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who had sworn its allegiance to the Daesh earlier.

Deputy Director Kushkumbayev spoke of the proposals made by the international expert working group on future international political status of Afghanistan as a neutral state. He noted, however, that Daesh factor should not be overestimated.

The two parties expressed deep convictions in non-violent means as the best way to solve the Afghan problem, which should involve both global players and regional leaders. The common position of the present experts was that Afghanistan needed economic rehabilitation combined with political stabilization.