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Home | Editorial | Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: Afghanistan’s commitment for cooperation

Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: Afghanistan’s commitment for cooperation

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Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: Afghanistan’s commitment for cooperation
 The 7th ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process began in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on Friday, where President Ghani and his Azeri counterpart were co-chairing the conference featuring representatives from 14 member states, 17 supporting countries and 14 regional and international organizations. 
Delivering his remarks, President Ghani called terrorism a serious threat to international peace and security, not just to Afghanistan, stressing the need for unified global action to eliminate the scourge. The president also underlined the need for concerted efforts to defeat terrorists.
Meanwhile the president said his administration was trying to making Afghanistan Asia’s heart and transform it into a regional economic hub, adding Taliban had no future and Afghan government planned to double the size of the Afghan Special Forces and triple the Afghan Air Force, hoping the move would help to defeat terrorists and further secure Afghan civilian.
Foreign Minister SalahuddinRabbani described the Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Baku as a reaffirmation of shared commitment to the Istanbul process, adding overarching goal of the process was promoting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia region.
Indeed the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was reflective of Afghanistan’s strong commitment to being a center for cooperation, not confrontation and to welcomed support for Afghanistan’s efforts to use its central location to enhance wider regional economic cooperation.
Over the past 16 years, Afghanistan has been a victim of state-sponsored terrorism. As a proxy of a regional state, the Taliban and the so-called IS fighters have daily killed and maimed innocent Afghans, while destroying the infrastructure that needed to connect and integrate Afghanistan with the regional countries for increased trade, business, and investment.
And as long as terrorism and extremism remain a major threat, there cannot be any secure development in Afghanistan. In other words, true realization of the aid and economic assistance to Afghanistan depends most critically on the security of the Afghan people and the stability of the Afghan government. And that is not possible until and unless terrorists and sources of terror in Afghanistan are not taken care of.
Indeed, the best way to fight poverty that feeds terrorism is to foster political and security confidence-building through regional cooperation. The latter can serve as an important enabler in deepening connectivity, enhancing competitiveness and productivity, lowering transaction costs, and expanding markets in any region. 
In fact, Afghanistan has already put forth a strategic solution for adoption and implementation by its near and far neighbors: The Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process.
Theprocess were established to help secure regional cooperation for the country’s stabilization and sustainable development, thereby ensuring stability and prosperity throughout its surrounding regions.
Meanwhile a strong call for concerted regional and international cooperation to ensure elimination of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, including dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the Heart of Asia region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terrorism is a must.
In this regard, Afghans call upon all states participating the conference to take action against these terrorist entities in accordance with their respective national counter terrorism policies, their international obligations and the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
 

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