Jordan Media Institute – Amman
The accomplished UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi gave a talk at Jordan Media Institute today. He spoke about current events in Afghanistan, in a talk titled “The Situation in Afghanistan: A Lecture on the Developments and Outcomes”. Speaking over Zoom, Mr. Brahimi discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the impacts of the Taliban takeover of the reins of government.
In his presentation, Brahimi said that the Afghan government “collapsed completely”, such that the Taliban now control the streets. Although they represent only one group among many in Afghanistan, the Taliban fought and claimed victory in the name of the entire country.
Brahimi went on to say that despite the fact that Afghanistan is “a difficult, strange, somewhat desolate land”, it has achieved a certain amount of development and progress. Much has changed regarding the management of many universities and institutions, and there has been progress in terms of women’s role in society.
Speaking about the withdrawal of the United States of America from Afghanistan, Brahimi said that it went to Afghanistan in late 2001 after Al-Qaeda attacked America, intending to look for those who battled it. It achieved its goal after the killing of Osama bin Laden, founder and former leader of Al-Qaeda, in 2011.
According to Brahimi, the United States’ errors and lack of consideration for the circumstances were an embarrassment. He indicated that the decision to withdraw was therefore overdue, in contrast with the Vietnam War, in which America suffered a military defeat.
As for the role of China in Afghanistan, Brahimi stated that China has adopted a position of caution and responsibility. He gave consideration to China’s economic interests in Afghanistan today, which are different from the situation in 2001. Brahimi predicted that China will play an important role in the next chapter of Afghan history.
Brahimi said that the international community has a big responsibility to reaffirm that peace and safety in Afghanistan are preferable to war. This is the most important value around which the international community’s work must be oriented. Meanwhile, the Afghan people who have suffered from wars for 50 years, remain the sole losers of this war. Brahimi said that famine is the biggest problem in Afghanistan, and the international community must provide the Afghan people with food assistance on a large scale.
Brahimi also said that the Middle East will play a large and active role in searching for a solution and providing support in Afghanistan to promote the coexistence between secularists and islamists there, especially because the Western discourse considers Afghanistan part of the greater Middle East.
Brahimi concluded his speech by mentioning that he will attend a meeting of the UN security council next month. The situation in Afghanistan will be up for discussion, as well as the topic of Palestine, which Brahimi called “the most important topic in the region”.
Lakhdar Brahimi is an Algerian politician and diplomat. He served as his country’s Foreign Minister in the early 1990s. He was the United Nations envoy to Afghanistan and then to Iraq, and was also appointed joint envoy of the Arab League and the United Nations to Syria, succeeding former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.