Afghanistan in 2019: Diplomatic perspectives & strategic constraints

Afghanistan in 2019: Diplomatic perspectives & strategic constraints

Afghanistan’s contested power structures have vexed policymakers and scholars under a backdrop of retrospective overextension of US power. In a post-US led world order, the normative means of negotiating Afghanistan’s future have seen greater plurality both internally and externally. Internally, the prospect of governance that accounts for the Taliban looms as a political reality. Externally, Russia has held Afghan peace talks in Moscow with Taliban representatives and Afghan opposition leaders, excluding representation from the US-backed official Afghan government led by Ashraf Ghani.  Central to all these issues is the looming presidential election scheduled for 28 September.

HE Mr Wahidullah Waissi is the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Australia. Mr Waissi joins Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 as Senior Advisor on regional cooperation to the ministry. Later, he was appointed as Director-General for Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2012 to 2016). In this position he was overseeing regional economic cooperation and multilateral development partnerships, chairs Economic Diplomacy Committee, coordinates Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan.
Mr Waissi was coordinating infrastructure project negotiation phases for TAPI, CASA-1000, TAT Railway, regional transit and transport agreements and projects and Dry Ports. He was lead-negotiator for Chabahar Transport and Transit Trilateral Agreement signed between Afghanistan, Iran and India, connecting South Asia with Central Asia, and the Gulf region with Central Asia and the Caucasus. Mr Waissi is also the lead negotiator for the Lapis Lazuli Transit Trade and Transport Corridor initiative.
Mr Waissi has studied in the United States and holds an MA in Development Economics from the Center for Development Economics, Williams College. He has taught economic development at the University of Afghanistan He is a visiting scholar of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the SAIS/Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.

Professor William Maley is Professor of Diplomacy at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, where he served as Foundation Director from 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2014. Among his numerous publications, he has a recent book entitled, Transition in Afghanistan: Hope, Despair and the Limits of Statebuilding (London: Routledge, 2018).
He taught for many years in the School of Politics, University College, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, and has served as a Visiting Professor at the Russian Diplomatic Academy, a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Refugee Studies Programme at Oxford University.
He is a Barrister of the High Court of Australia, Vice-President of the Refugee Council of Australia, and a member of the Australian Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Global Responsibility to Protect, and of the International Advisory Board of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University. CSCAP).

Date & time

Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11.30am–1pm


CAIS Lecture theatre, Building 127, Ellery Cres., Acton, 2601, ACT


HE Mr Wahidullah Waissi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Australia
Professor William Maley, AM, FASSA, Foundation Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy
Discussant, Aidan Parkes, CAIS Research Scholar

Event series



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