Finnish President on Afghanistan: The West Has Failed

 

Finnish President on Afghanistan: The West Has Failed 

By Staff, Agencies 

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto viewed that Taliban’s rapid conquest of Afghanistan as a sign of failure on the part of the West, which did not succeed in building a democratic government and a democratic society in the country.

“The lesson we must learn from this is that it is quite difficult to introduce a completely new social structure and social thinking to another place. It takes many generations,” Niinisto said.

He further refused to comment on whether he sees entering Afghanistan in 2001 or leaving it now in 2021 as a mistake, emphasizing instead that bringing about change in society is more difficult than previously thought.

“I would not [like to] talk about mistakes. The conclusion is that it was a goal that was not achieved. From the beginning, there was a belief that everything would go in a good direction. Now we are faced with the truth that it is very difficult to change an entire country”, Niinisto said.

In parallel, the Finnish President stressed that the Taliban movement was constantly active in Afghanistan and was well prepared.

According to him, the immediate consequence of the situation in Afghanistan will be a likely wave of refugees leaving the country. However, Niinisto mused that it is still impossible to make accurate predictions about their numbers and destinations.

“So we must take a stand on the question of how many refugees Finland and Europe can receive so that good integration can be achieved,” Niinisto said with a likely reference to the migrant crisis of 2015, when Europe received 1.2 million asylum seekers in a single year, the highest since World War II.

Another relevant issue, according to Niinisto, is what stance the Taliban will assume after coming to power.

Iran Not Interested In Renewing Nuclear Talks with US – Zarif

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic has no interest in engaging in a fresh round of nuclear talks with the United States, over a year after Washington unilaterally withdrew from a previous landmark agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015.

“Iran is not interested in negotiations with the United States to clinch a new nuclear accord,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with Finland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto in Helsinki on Monday, adding, “We had detailed negotiations with the United States and it was not us who left the negotiating table.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

Since May, Iran has been suspending some of its commitments under the nuclear deal. Tehran rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.

Earlier this month, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI], Behrouz Kamalvandi, said earlier this month that the country would take the third step in scaling back its commitments under the JCPOA “in a matter of a month” if European signatories to the agreement continue to renege on their obligations.

“If the opposite side fails to live up to its commitments in the remaining one month [set as a deadline], the third phase of reducing JCPOA obligations will start as per what the president has previously declared in his capacity as head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council,” Kamalvandi said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said, “There is no agreement that would satisfy all parties. It would suffice if nobody would disagree with an agreement.”

Zarif added that if there ever was going to be any mediation between Iran and the United States over the nuclear deal, “it must primarily focus on how to make Washington resume fulfilling its obligations under the JCPOA.”

He emphasized that the Islamic Republic is always ready for negotiations and interaction, but it is against raising human rights issues to achieve political goals.

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