Alexa

Afghan lawmakers seek NIreland peace lessons

Afghan lawmakers seek NIreland peace lessons

A dozen Afghan warlords-turned-lawmakers came to Dublin on Tuesday to explore the lessons of Northern Ireland peacemaking.
The Afghan National Assembly members from several tribal factions were meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, President Mary McAleese and the foreign affairs committee of Ireland's parliament.
They also were visiting the Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation amid the Wicklow mountains south of Dublin. Glencree officials, who helped organize the Afghans' visit, have long specialized in bringing together the Irish Catholics and British Protestants of neighboring Northern Ireland _ and today increasingly seek to spread lessons from that work to other conflicts worldwide.
Power-sharing was the central goal of Northern Ireland's U.S.-brokered 1998 peace accord and took nearly a decade to develop.
"Ireland has many lessons to share from its long history of conflict and the Northern Ireland peace process," Martin said before meeting the Afghan delegation.
"We are conscious that each country must find its own path to peace, and that there is no correct `one-size-fits-all' path to take," Martin said. "However, it has also been our experience that international support can be invaluable in securing peace, and we hope to play our part through sharing our experiences."
It was not possible to get a list of visitors. Telephone calls to officials traveling with the Afghans were not returned and Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said the visit was privately organized and declined to identify anyone on it.
Afghanistan's government has struggled to assert its authority across the faction-rife country since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban. The fundamentalist Muslim movement has regained control of broad swaths of the Afghan countryside, weakening the authority of the Kabul government of President Hamid Karzai. He faces re-election in August, the first major electoral test in Afghanistan since the National Assembly was elected in 2005.
Martin said the Aug. 20 election, which also involves elections to 34 provincial assemblies, "represent a critical opportunity for the Afghan people. Given their importance, we must do everything we can to support them and to ensure that they are conducted in a credible manner."
Later this week, the Afghans lawmakers travel to Belfast, capital of the British territory of Northern Ireland, to meet with the leaders of the Catholic-Protestant government there.
The Afghans' visit is sponsored by the American aid agency USAID and coordinated by officials from the State University of New York, who are based in Kabul and are helping the Afghans develop international standards of democracy.
___
On the Net:
http://www.sunyaf.org/


Updated : 2021-03-05 00:51 GMT+08:00