Herat Security Dialogue gets underway in Dushanbe

Political figures from Afghanistan, along with other top envoys from the region and abroad, meet Tuesday for the start of the two-day Herat Security Dialogue in Dushanbe where they will discuss the situation in the country.

Among the participants are U.S Charge D’affaires, Karen Decker, Tajikistan’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Farhad Salim; Afghanistan’s former foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta; former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil and former foreign minister Zalmay Rasul, among others.

Farhad Salim said at Tuesday’s opening ceremony that his country is concerned about the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, including al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

To cope with the concerns, he said, the Tajikistan president has proposed the establishment of a security built around the borders with Afghanistan.

Former foreign minister for Afghanistan Rangin Dadfar Spanta said an “irresponsible withdrawal” of foreign forces from Afghanistan and the Doha agreement led to the fall of the government.

He said that the monopoly of power by the previous government in recent years increased the gap between the people and the government, reiterating that war is not an option for the people of Afghanistan.

Spanta mentioned that the Taliban is seeking to monopolize power in Afghanistan.

“We should not undermine the territory of any country or neighbor,” he said. “We want to stay impartial.”

Other political figures including former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil and former foreign minister Zalmay Rasul have also attended the event.

The U.S Charge D’affaires to Afghanistan, Karen Decker, early Tuesday confirmed that she would be attending the dialogue. She said on Twitter that it is great to have an opportunity to exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan with representatives from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, regional countries, and the EU.

I am here to listen, but I will be prepared to reiterate America’s strong support for the Afghan people and for an Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors, she said.

The Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies, who are the organizers of the event, said in a statement that this year’s conference theme will be “Inclusive Political System: The Way forward”.

According to the statement, the conference does not aim to produce any specific set of recommendations but strives towards bringing closer and clearer diverse views and analysis on Afghanistan, in the hope of exploring approaches towards an effective, legitimate and sustainable settlement.