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Joint Roundtable

Institute for Political and International Studies and East West Institute in Brussels

Joint Meeting

Institute for Political and International Studies and East West Institute in Brussels

Transitions in the Middle East and Afghanistan

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

IPIS, Tehran, Iran

The East West Institute in Brussels and Institute for Political and International Studies held a joint meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in IPIS.  The session was opened by Dr. Vahid Karimi, the Director of Europe Studies Group in IPIS by welcoming to Amb. Martin Fleischer and the participants. The discussed area at this conference was focused on “Transitions in the Middle East and Afghanistan”.

At the beginning Mr. Fleischer introduced the East West Institute which is a nongovernmental organization; this NGO was established in 1980 and have played roles in USA and Soviet Union talks and East and West Germany negotiations. One of main programs runs in this institute is Afghanistan and Middle East.

He also said: In 2014 it was clear that Taliban would occupy more lands in Afghanistan but everyone used to deny this fact. The performance of the Afghan forces was better than what we were expected. Germany has spent lots money on Afghanistan security for many years. Germany pays the salary of the Afghan policemen. The security in Afghanistan is still an issue and they are not able to handle it.

My analysis for Afghans and Pakistanis is that we need to encourage them to participate in security cooperation; they need to agree on who is a terrorist and who is a free fighter.

Pakistan does not have many friends but it has cooperation with China and Iran.

Refugee crisis is an issue in Europe now, the first origin of refugees is Syria and the second is Afghanistan.

Living conditions in the countries where the refugees come from should be improved. Job opportunities should be provided in Afghanistan, the salary, people can receive in Taliban is much more than what they can receive in high level legal jobs, the unemployment in Afghanistan has raised since 2015.

There are obstacles in economic development for Afghanistan naming trade transiting and transport and there are also some opportunities like Chabahar port and China-Pakistan economic relations. Afghanistan should take its historical role as a trade road.

We have provided a ground for developments in cooperation with CEOs of companies, business people, former ministers of governments and scholars in the region; they are working on improving trade opportunities in Afghanistan.

We want Iran to be more active in economic and political aspects regarding the region and Afghanistan. Iranian business people who like to work with Afghanistan should be invited to these sets of meetings.

Followed by Dr. Karimi said: there is not any concrete solution to solve problems in Afghanistan, it has been tried in the past many times, we have the governments who make conflicts in the region and there is not any state that could be the upper hand to influence more. We have conflicts between Pakistan, India and China.

After West and East Germany’s reunion, there was a gap between eastern and western states, but you bring the eastern states to the same level as the western states, we can use Germany’s experience regarding to developing Afghanistan. Secondly by the time EU aimed to increase the number of its members, some changes had to be done in country’s internal system, EU proposed these changes, this method can also be used regarding to Afghanistan.

It is important to be present in the field of education in Afghanistan to teach and train people; we have to change their mind sets. We might be able to have a joint office in Kabul to be in the field. We can apply your experience to Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries

The session was continued by exchanging views between the experts.


Reported by Fatemah Hajjari

Institute for Political and International Studies



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