Just before Afghans went to the polls on the 28th of September, Mirwais Wardak, Managing Director of the Peace Training and Research Organization and Facilitor of the Afghanistan Policy Group and Magdalena Kirchner, Country Director of FES Afghanistan met with decision makers, stakeholders and experts to discuss the findings of the Project "The Public's Voice in the Peace Process", which aimed at bringing more and more diverse voices into the discourse of negotiations between the conflict parties. In high-level bilateral meetings and roundtables, participants and experts agreed that any future agreement can only be sustainable if it reflects realities, concerns and expectations of the Afghan population. Also on the agenda were the security dynamics of the past months, the role that the United States, the European Union and Germany could play, and the upcoming elections, which were mostly seen as a positive sign yet still far from sufficient to guarantee the survival of the post-2001 system by itself.
On 24th of September, Sidonie Wetzig, Policy Officer of FES Brussels, chaired a Panel Session with Mirwais Wardak, Magdalena Kirchner and Evija Kravcenko, Political Adviser to the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan, on the report's findings, the Afghan public discourse on the US-Taliban negotiations and the implications of current dynamics on the European Union's future engagement in the country.
In Berlin, some 30 Afghanistan experts, media representatives and policy makers came together on September 26th for a discussion on Germany's and others' mediation efforts, the security situation as well as public expectations from the upcoming elections. Magdalena Kirchner chaired the panel debate with Mirwais Wardak, Dr. Almut Wieland Karimi, Executive Director of the Center for International Peace Operations and Andreas Krüger, Head of Division Afghanistan/Pakistan at the Federal Foreign Office.