Finnish President on Afghanistan: The West Has Failed
By Staff, Agencies
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto viewed that Taliban's rapid conquest of Afghanistan as a sign of failure on the part of the West, which did not succeed in building a democratic government and a democratic society in the country.
“The lesson we must learn from this is that it is quite difficult to introduce a completely new social structure and social thinking to another place. It takes many generations,” Niinisto said.
He further refused to comment on whether he sees entering Afghanistan in 2001 or leaving it now in 2021 as a mistake, emphasizing instead that bringing about change in society is more difficult than previously thought.
"I would not [like to] talk about mistakes. The conclusion is that it was a goal that was not achieved. From the beginning, there was a belief that everything would go in a good direction. Now we are faced with the truth that it is very difficult to change an entire country", Niinisto said.
In parallel, the Finnish President stressed that the Taliban movement was constantly active in Afghanistan and was well prepared.
According to him, the immediate consequence of the situation in Afghanistan will be a likely wave of refugees leaving the country. However, Niinisto mused that it is still impossible to make accurate predictions about their numbers and destinations.
“So we must take a stand on the question of how many refugees Finland and Europe can receive so that good integration can be achieved,” Niinisto said with a likely reference to the migrant crisis of 2015, when Europe received 1.2 million asylum seekers in a single year, the highest since World War II.
Another relevant issue, according to Niinisto, is what stance the Taliban will assume after coming to power.