IIFA and the European Union Coordinate Efforts on Afghanistan
8 January، 2023

At the request of the Office of the Special Envoy of the European Commission to Afghanistan, His Excellency Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), and His Excellency Thomas Niklassen, the European Special Envoy to Afghanistan, held a virtual meeting via visual communication technology on Thursday 12 Jumada II 1444H corresponding to 05 January 2023G, in order to discuss and explore ways of cooperation and coordination between the two parties on the Afghan file and the latest developments in Afghanistan.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Secretary General expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Special Envoy for his keenness to convene this meeting in order to discuss the issue of suspending the study of girls in Afghan schools and universities, and the issue of women’s participation in the efforts of construction, progress, development and renaissance in Afghanistan. His Excellency also referred to the great efforts made by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and all its organs, including the Academy, in order to support the Afghan people and alleviate the suffering that they have been subjected to for decades. In this context, His Excellency briefed the Special Envoy on the contacts made by the academy after being assigned by the OIC to lead a delegation of scholars to Kabul to dialogue and discuss with Afghan scholars and leaders on the aforementioned issues, stressing that the academy is continuing to strengthen communication with the current authority in Afghanistan to enable girls to return to schools and universities in the near future. His Excellency also indicated the importance of coordinating efforts between the Academy and international organizations active in the international arena in order to help the Afghan people overcome this difficult stage in their history.

For his part, the Special Envoy expressed his gratitude and thanks to the Secretary General for accepting the invitation to this important meeting and praised his usual keenness to support the cause of women’s education and work, not only in Afghanistan, but in all regions of the world. He stressed the European Commission’s keen interest in this complex file, which has become in the eyes of the world a humanitarian issue par excellence that deserves cooperation and unification of efforts in order to support Afghan women and enable them to enjoy all their civil rights stipulated by all religious laws, including Islamic law. His Excellency stated that he followed with great interest the mission of the delegation of the Ummah’s scholars, which was led last year by His Excellency the Secretary General to Kabul, and the great efforts that were made to persuade the Afghan authority to retract its recent decisions regarding women’s education and work. He also praised the strong statement recently issued by the academy on the recent exceptional measures regarding women in Afghanistan. In this context, he affirmed to the Secretary General the full readiness of the European Commission to coordinate with the Academy intensively to reach practical solutions that enable Afghan women to participate in the efforts to rebuild and reconstruct Afghanistan.

At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed to continue consultation and dialogue in preparation for the next visit of the delegation of the Ummah’s scholars to Afghanistan, and to exchange visits between them to arrange and unify the demands that will be placed on the dialogue table with the authority in Kabul. The Special Envoy also promised to provide full and necessary support to the Secretary General for the success of his noble mission, which offers a glimmer of hope for Afghan women and the entire Afghan people.

The meeting was also attended by Ms. Jenny Maria Glenn, Senior Political Advisor to His Excellency the Special Envoy, Ms. Jihen El-Hachani, Executive Assistant to His Excellency the Special Envoy, and Mr. Mourad TLiLi, Advisor to His Excellency the Secretary General of the Academy for Media Affairs.

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