In November this year, the Berghof Foundation organized a study-visit to Indonesia in coordination with its Afghan partner, the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC). The high level delegation from Kabul, made up of senior representatives of the HPC as well as other key Afghan government institutions, visited Jakarta and Banda Aceh during the participants’ week-long stay in Indonesia. The main focus of the visit was to explore practical ways of designing an Afghan-led and -owned peace process and strengthening strategic communication capacities, a critical element of the HPC’s reinvigorated mandate within the context of its newly approved peace strategy.
The study-visit was comprised of a three-day workshop and facilitated discussions where the Afghan partners were given the opportunity to engage and reflect on the Afghan peace process with peers from Indonesia as well as experts from other contexts, who have played a key role in peace processes around the world including in the Philippines, Nepal, Tunisia, Colombia, and Thailand, among others.
In his concluding remarks during the closing session of the workshop, HE Mohammad Karim Khalili, former Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Chairman of the HPC, thanked the Berghof Foundation and the Federal Republic of Germany for their support in enhancing the capacities of the HPC through their joint and close collaboration with the Afghan government. He underlined the high importance attached to the building of peace-capacities in Afghanistan and the immensely significant role of this work in furthering peace efforts in the country. HE Khalili also opined that direct talks with the armed opposition groups and a negotiated political settlement are the viable way out of the ongoing conflict. HE Dr. Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, the head of HPC’s secretariat and the President’s Senior Political Advisor, also participated in the closing session of the workshop.