A leading American expert on the Afghan problem, Barnett Rubin believes that internal stability in war-torn Afghanistan is still problematic for the medium and long term.
The good news, however, is that despite their competing interests, almost all regional powers appear to be committed more than ever to promoting U.S.-led Afghan peace and reconciliation efforts – this view was expressed by former ex-adviser to the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Professor Rubin at a round-table recently held at the Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).
Rubin, a veteran in the history of Afghan issues and the author of many books, also stressed that almost everybody seems fed up with the continued Afghan instability and so are most of Afghans themselves, and that should be a cause for extremely cautious optimism.
– There are clearly much more economic incentives than in the past decades for these countries to cooperate to jointly pursue peace in Afghanistan, argued Rubin, underlining that these incentives essentially rule out any possible vacuum even if the US withdrew from Afghanistan
Barnett, who has been campaigning across the region – including trips to China, Central Asia – for a greater multi-lateral synergy of thought and action on Afghanistan, expressed hope that the US and the Taliban will be able to reach peace deal, especially after the great difficult work done by the US envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.
– Never before did I come across such a grand regional commitment and consensus to conflict resolution in Afghanistan, he told.
On Tuesday, during his remarks at an international conference in Ashgabat, President Berdymuhamedov, emphasizing the importance of supporting reconciliation processes in Afghanistan, reiterated Turkmenistan’s readiness to ensure all conditions for establishing a peaceful Afghan dialogue.
Regarding the solution of the Afghan puzzle, Turkmenistan has repeatedly stressed the futility of military methods and the lack of alternatives to the negotiation process.