September 23, 2012

The Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) had the opportunity to host a luncheon with key officials from the Embassy of the United States on 23 September 2012. CAPS Director, Mr. Hekmat Khalil Karzai along with the Research, Legal, and Programme Staff were joined by Ambassador Hugo Llorens, Assistant Chief of Mission; David T. Donahue, Coordinator for Interagency Provincial Affairs; Lawrence G. Richter, Minister Counselor for Management; and a Political Officer.
As Ambassador Llorens and Mr. Donahue are recent arrivals in Afghanistan, CAPS took the opportunity to brief the guests on the on-going activities related to research, legal aid, and education. The Director of CAPS expressed a desire to continuing relationship with the US Embassy and to further build the partnership. In turn, Ambassador Llorens and Mr. Donahue expressed appreciation for CAPS’ commitment to not only high-quality research and analysis, but also youth engagement and rule of law.
The meeting discussion touched on several topics including the need to ensure the safety of key community members, constraints facing provincial and district-level governments, as well as strategies that have proven successful in the arena of provincial governance. In addition, the 2014 Transition process featured prominently in the discussion, including some potential challenges facing the US and Afghan Governments in the upcoming bi-lateral negotiations regarding the role of the United States in Afghanistan after the 2014 military transition.
Both Ambassador Llorens and Mr. Donahue stressed the need to continue the US Embassy-CAPS partnership throughout their term as well as their commitment to ensure that relationships between the two institutions are sustained despite regular assignment rotations.