The Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) in collaboration with the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), UK held a webinar on “Conversations on Afghanistan: Middle East’s Perspectives” on November 10, 2021. The distinguished speakers included: Ambassador Ali Awadh Asseri, Former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Dr. Daud Abdullah, Director Middle East Monitor (MEMO), Mr. Hashmat Moslih, independent political analyst with special focus on Afghanistan and Mr. Ahmad Shah Durrani, author of An Outside the Box Look at Afghanistan: New Ideas for Lasting Peace and Stability.
During her introductory remarks, Ms. Amina Khan, Director CAMEA stated that the real test for the Taliban has only just begun – which is not confined to the capture of power, but is more about legitimacy, recognition, and performance. With every passing day, Afghanistan is inching closer to a humanitarian crisis with its economy moving in a downward spiral. Provision of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by certain regional countries is reassuring however; it is not enough to sustain the Afghan population. The latest developments in Afghanistan have been capturing the close attention of the international community, and the Middle East at large, especially the Gulf States. Important players in the region, such as Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia, none of which have recognized the new regime, view the situation in Afghanistan with uncertainty, primarily with concerns revolving around whether the Taliban will be able to deliver on their pledges of reform pertaining to governance, human/women rights, and whether the group will be able to curb the possible regrouping and consolidation of terrorist groups.