Vienna hosts second meeting on Afghanistan

Vienna, Austria, hosted a second meeting about Afghanistan where a wide range of diaspora from Afghanistan, including political figures and activists, had attended to discuss ways forward for Afghanistan.

Freedom Front leader Ahmad Massoud and a number of former government officials have also attended the conference.

“The second Vienna meeting in fact is a follow up of the first meeting (in September 2022) in which various figures, mostly those who are anti-Taliban, have gathered together today,” said Suhail Sanjar, a participant in the event.

“Ahmad Massoud and other figures, including Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Fawzia Koofi, and Mohammad Mohaqiq have participated,” he added.

The meeting has raised concerns over terrorists’ activities in Afghanistan and its changing to a hub for such groups.

“We see worsening of the situation in eastern borders with Iran, we see China’s concerns and we see that threats are increasing for Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and other countries,” said Fayiz Qasimi, a researcher on security and terrorism.

The Resistance Front said that at least 30 political and influential figures were invited to the meeting, but sources confirmed that Salahuddin Rabbani, the chairman of the Jamiat-e-Islami party, and former foreign minister Zalmay Rasul were invited to the conference but did not participate.

“The conference will issue a statement in which it will portray the demands of anti-Taliban movements and ways to weaken the Taliban and strengthen a process that will lead to unity and harmony among anti-Taliban forces,” Suhail said.

Former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil tweeted that he could not attend the event due to his pre-scheduled plans.

“About such meetings that are held outside Afghanistan by Afghans, if they are facilitated by the UN, it will have more credibility but we cannot find something like this in UN activities,” said Torek Farhadi, a political affairs analyst.

The conference is held with the support of the Austrian Institute of International Affairs. The first Vienna meeting was held in September.