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About CAPS
Located in Kabul, Afghanistan, CAPS is an independent, research centre that strives to conduct action-oriented research which will influence policy-makers. It works diligently towards building local capacity to produce conflict and threat assessments that will influence the safety and security of the people serving the governments, and international aid organizations.
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Nov 21, 2011
Afghan Opinion-makers visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

27 – 28 October 2011
Deputy Director of CAPS, Ms. Mariam Safi, was invited, together withnine Afghan opinion-makers for a two day visit at NATO headquarterswhere a series of dedicated discussions on the Alliance’s political andmilitary long-term engagement in Afghanistan was held. 
On the morning of the 27th of October, Ms. Safi and other Afghandelegates discussed Afghan relations with NATO Countries touching uponthe accomplishments and shortcomings of both the Afghan government andinternational community’s engagement in Afghanistan since 2001. Thiswas followed by a lengthy discussion on the process of securitytransition to Afghan forces and NATO relations with Pakistan. Afghandelegates expressed to NATO officials that significant progress hadbeen achieved in the last ten years such as the improvement inextending local access to government services across Afghanistan,education facilities, health clinics, and women’s rights. However, asidentified by Ms. Safi without continued international support thesegains are not sustainable and Afghans will not be able to consolidatethese gains in the post-2014 period. 
The morning session was followed by an afternoon session with theAssistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Ambassador KolindaGrabar-Kitarovic, where the Afghan delegates discussed the transitionprocess, development needs of Afghanistan, women’s rights and theAfghan government’s relations with its European partners. 
In conjunction with the discussions held at NATO HQ, the Afghandelegates were also given an opportunity to engage with officials atthe Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) where theSupreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James G. Stavridis is based. 
Also Ms. Safi along with the other delegates engaged in a fruitfulroundtable at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, whererepresentatives of the European Parliament and members of theBrussels-based think-tank community were also present. In this session,Ms. Safi pointed to the importance of dismantling insurgent sanctuariespresent in the tribal border belt in Pakistan if real gains are to beachieved by both the Afghan government and the international communitybefore 2014. 

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