U.S.-Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism in Afghanistan Convenes in Vienna

News | June 18, 2019

On June 4-5, 2019, the EastWest Institute (EWI) convened the fourth meeting of the Joint U.S.-Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism in Afghanistan in Vienna, Austria. Against a backdrop of dynamic changes in Afghanistan, American and Russian experts came together to assess major developments in the bilateral relationship, as well as the current security and political situation in Afghanistan, and consider the implications for joint counterterrorism efforts going forward.

Specific topics discussed also included border management concerns; methods of terrorism recruitment and the process by which radicalization takes place; and the role of economic development in contributing to a safe and stable Afghanistan. In the framework of the meeting, Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), addressed the Working Group, speaking on regional approaches to counterterrorism in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Representatives from the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna and the National Defence Academy’s Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management were also present to share their perspectives.

Since 2017, the Working Group has aimed to generate positive momentum in the U.S.-Russia relationship and drive much-needed dialogue, specifically with respect to counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan.

Supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Working Group previously convened in Moscow, Washington, D.C. and Brussels. These deliberations laid the foundation for the Working Group’s forthcoming report, a joint threat assessment, which will provide policymakers with an independent, up-to-date assessment of the terrorist threat in Afghanistan and serve as the basis for future counterterrorism cooperation. The report is expected to be released in Fall 2019.

Click here to read Ambassador Greminger's opening remarks.

Image Credit: Anna Renard-Koktysh