The joint virtual meeting of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) with the European Institute of Peace (EIP) about the Afghanistan and regional issues was held on Saturday, May 7, 2022.
The meeting was attended by Dr.Hassan Sheikholeslami, President of IPIS; Majid Ghafelehbashi, Research Deputy of IPIS; Seyed Mohammadkazem Sajjadpour, Alireza Miryousefi, Javad Kachoueian, Saeed Ghaderi, and Hossein Molabdollahi, Senior Studies Experts; and Keyhan Barzegar, Academic Advisor to the Institute, on one side, and
Michael Keating, Patrick de Vries, and Jamie Pleydell-Bouverie, on the other side.
The meeting was held in the form of two panels, “Focus on Middle East Developments”, and “Afghanistan Latest Developments”, to answer the following questions: What are the views of Iran and the European Union on the security situation of the Persian Gulf region? , what are the main challenges lying ahead of peace and stability in the Persian Gulf region? What are the consequences of the Ukraine crisis on other issues in the region as well as the Middle East? , What is the general trend of developments in Afghanistan and the region? , How is the future of Afghanistan evaluated, considering the Taliban takeover?
Here are the major issues raised at the meeting:
- Since long ago, Europe has played historically a crucial role in West Asia as a distant neighbor of Iran. In recent years, the region has been witnessing pivotal historical developments. The Ukraine war, rise of Taliban in Afghanistan, the US troops’ pullout from the region, and some other internal and external developments in the neighboring countries are among these developments. However, today, “security” is the missing link of the most fundamental issues of the region in various areas.
- Security in the West Asia region can be realized only through understanding the requirements of good neighborliness, dialogue and cooperation among the neighbors. The regional countries should come to the belief that the neighbors are unchangeable and have a common destiny. Therefore, they should put the requirements of neighborhood policy including mutual trust, reliance on the regional and national capabilities, strengthening relations, and non-reliance on foreign countries, on their agenda.
- The European countries, along the other immediate neighbors, can be the party to talks and cooperation in issues like immigration, narcotics, or other issues of mutual interest. Due to this, solving the regional crises requires dialogue and understanding among the actors.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran, especially the current administration, has put on top of its foreign policy priorities improvement of relations with the neighbors, and is hopeful that all regional countries will be committed to multi-laterism and support for a joint landscape. In this regard, the architecture of society and sustainability of security in the region can help in creating positive regional developments, including broadening cooperation, reduction of tensions, stopping war in Yemen and stability in Afghanistan, as well as withdrawal of foreign troops from the region.