Policy Report Focuses on Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan

A new report from the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, "Crisis Diplomacy from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush," addresses the ongoing crisis in Syria, the Iranian nuclear question, and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, stressing the impact of developments in these three countries for the region.

The report stresses the complex and interrelated nature of three simultaneous crises in Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan. As the report notes, "as international diplomatic history demonstrates, seemingly independent crises that evolve in a geographically confined space over a period of time have a propensity for mutual interaction, reinforcement, and intensification. In a strategically important region already in upheaval and flux, such developments could clearly influence the international system and attract the intervention of neighboring and outside powers that might exploit the crises for the advancement of their respective interests." 

The report is the chair's summary of a Liechtenstein Colloquium, "Diplomacy from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: A Holistic and Proactive Approach," held in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein, April 19-22, 2012. The colloquium brought together over seventy participants, including senior representatives, experts, academics, and civil society representatives from Austria, Azerbaijan, the European Union, Germany, Georgia, France, Iran, Israel, Liechtenstein, Russia, Qatar, Switzerland, Syria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants engaged in both plenary and working group discussions about ways to address four key issues: crisis diplomacy with Iran; the ongoing crisis in Syria; Afghanistan in transition; and preventing the escalation of crises in this macro region. This was the third LISD-sponsored colloquium on developments in the Mediterranean to Hindu Kush region since the Arab Spring.

The colloquium was off the record according to Liechtenstein Colloquium rules, and was financially supported by LISD, the House of Liechtenstein, the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein, and the SIBIL Stiftung in Vaduz. The Colloquium was chaired by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, Director of LISD.

The report includes includes an updated postscript.