On 23rd September 2019, the newly appointed Ambassador of Australia Geoffrey Tooth along with his colleagues Deputy Head of Mission Peter Truswell and First Secretary Amanda McGregor visited the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) and met CAPS’ Chairman Hekmat K. Karzai. In the meeting CAPS Deputy Director Hekmatullah Azamy and Research Analyst Mustafa Hotaki were also present.
Mr Karzai welcomed Amb Tooth and his colleagues and thanked Australian government for their role in Afghanistan and contribution to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Uruzgan province from 2011 to 2013.
On his first visit to CAPS, Amb Tooth was briefed about CAPS’ activities particularly that of the research department that regularly produce quality assessments on many relevant issues including security, local governance, drug-crime-terror nexus among others. Mr Karzai also talked about CAPS’ legal program that provides pro-bono legal assistance to security detainees. He said the program started in 2009 with the aim to build trust between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Representing thousands of detainees, CAPS has recently expanded its legal program to Herat, Helmand and Nangarhar provinces. Other topics discussed were peace talks with the Taliban and the presidential elections in Afghanistan.
Amb Tooth thanked Karzai for the opportunity to visit CAPS and sharing valuable insights. He hoped CAPS and the Australian Embassy in Afghanistan would explore possible avenues for cooperation.