Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, June 23rd, 2017

MoFA and Parliament at Odds over Draft Foreign Policy

MoFA and Parliament at Odds over Draft  Foreign Policy

KABUL – Confusion surrounds the whereabouts of Afghanistan’s draft foreign policy which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said was sent to parliament last year, but parliament’s international relations committee said they never received it.
MoFA says that the draft policy has 15 articles that cover eight sectors including security, politics and economic issues.
“The foreign policy outline was prepared in consultation with the international relations committee of parliament and the senate and it was sent to parliament last year,” said Shekib Mustaghni, a spokesman for MoFA.
A number of international relations analysts have said the lack of a formal foreign policy has resulted in numerous challenges in government’s foreign relations and that this has put the country at a disadvantage.
“Our foreign policy is not a long term policy, but changes day-by-day. We wait to see what other countries do and then we state our policy which is reactive,” said Tahir Hashimi, a university lecturer.
“Having a solid foreign policy will help us to interact with the world and not make impulsive decisions,” said Faramarz Tamana, an international relations analyst.
During President Ashraf Ghani’s swearing in ceremony when he took over as president two years ago he said Afghanistan’s foreign policy was five-pronged.
“First of all we will try to have more cooperation with regional countries to stabilize peace and security in the region,” Ghani said, citing one section at the time.
However, the National Unity Government’s (NUG) foreign policy during the last two years has been in flux, according to analysts.
Recently Russia, China and Pakistan held a meeting in Moscow where they agreed to request the removal of Taliban members’ names from the United Nations’ (UN) sanctions list.
“The challenges, especially the meeting in Moscow where they discussed Afghanistan, the Taliban and the black list shows that our foreign policy is weak,” said Abdul Qadir Zazai Watandost, a member of parliament's international relations committee. (Tolonews)