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Reinforcing Peace and Security

South Asia is one of the most volatile regions in the world and the regional dimension of the conflict in Afghanistan contributes to further destabilization of the region, preventing lasting peace and development. As Afghanistan continues to be one of the most unstable countries of the world, and also taking into account the German engagement as part of ISAF-led NATO forces in Afghanistan, working towards peace and security is a key objective of the regional work of FES.

FES has gained more than a decade of extensive experience with high level peace dialogues in the region. Through its regional project“Envisioning a Secure and Independent Afghanistan Post 2014 – Perspectives and Strategies for Constructive Conflict Resolution from the Neighborhood” FES aims at generating national and regional policy recommendations, focusing on the transitional period and the future of a peaceful Afghanistan from the perspective of all neighboring states.

Bearing in mind that a comprehensive regional approach towards Afghanistan’s future based on a consensus of the countries in the region continues to be hampered by enduring political conflicts and geo-strategic rivalries, FES supports the improvement of regional cooperation and the building of mutual trust among key figures from politics and civil society in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries. FES facilitates inter-regional Track II (or Track 1,5) dialogues, contributing to policy proposals that aim at easing political tensions in a conflict-ridden region by building trust among important actors.

FES has established a regional network of influential experts and representatives from Afghanistan, Central Asia, China, India and Pakistan exchanging views and visions for the post 2014-region: In each country, a national Policy Group was set up by FES which analyses national perspectives on developments in Afghanistan and develops policy recommendations for a peaceful and prosperous future of the country, bearing in mind the strategic interests of their own respective countries in Afghanistan and the region. The different Policy Groups engage in inter-regional Track II dialogues with experts from China, Iran, Russia and Turkey on aspects of peace, stability and economic development in Afghanistan, thereby creating “communication channels” in the region.

The results of these dialogues are communicated as policy briefs to decision makers, media and civil society in the concerned countries, the region as well as in international policy making circles in Germany and within the European Union.

What options do Afghanistan and the region have after 2014? The Regional Project FES “Envisioning Afghanistan post 2014” has been working on this question for the past two years and for the first time published the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability” where Afghan, Central Asian, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Pakistani, Russian and Turkish experts jointly established policy recommendations for the region.

Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability 

Gomal Zam