Please join us Thursday, June 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a conversation with Afghanistan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

On Twitter? Follow @ACSouthAsia and tweet using #ACAbdullah
A Conversation with Afghanistan Presidential Candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (via Skype)

Moderated by
Mr. Shuja Nawaz
Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

Mr. Vikram J. Singh
Vice President, National Security and International Policy
Center for American Progress

Afghans will take to the polls on June 14 to choose between Afghanistan’s two leading presidential candidates: Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani. This Thursday, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will join us via Skype from Kabul to share his view at this critical juncture of the future of Afghanistan, particularly following President Barack Obama’s announcement of US troop withdrawal by 2016. Dr. Abdullah will discuss his plans to unite a country with a long history of ethnic strife against continued security challenges, as well share his thoughts on the pending Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States. He will also address key priorities for the next president, including stabilization of the economy after years of foreign support, and reshaping relations within its region, and with the United States and its allies.

The Atlantic Council hosted a similar discussion with Dr. Abdullah’s contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani on May 30, 2014. Watch the discussion here.

This event is cosponsored by the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and Center for American Progress.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a candidate in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election. From 1992-1996, he served as a spokesperson for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense and subsequently served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Abdullah also served as caretaker of the Foreign Ministry for the government-in-exile of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1999 until the collapse of the Taliban. As a result of the International led Bonn conference in 2001, Dr. Abdullah was appointed as Minister of Foreign of Affairs of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan where he continued to serve in that capacity until 2005.

Dr. Abdullah ran as an independent candidate during the 2009 Presidential elections in Afghanistan. He ran a highly impressive campaign under the slogan of “Change” with national agendas – to institute needed reforms. He came in second by securing over 30% of the total votes cast. A second round runoff was called between the Incumbent President Hamid Karzai and Dr. Abdullah after the Electoral Complaints Commission concluded a vigorous audit, disallowing a large number of questionable ballots, mainly in favor of President Karzai. On November 1, 2009 Dr. Abdullah announced that he would not participate in the second round of the Presidential elections due to concerns of fraud. In 2010, he formed the Coalition for Change and Hope, which served as one of the leading democratic opposition movements in the country. In 2011, the coalition was transformed into the National Coalition of Afghanistan, which is supported by many political parties and members of Parliament.