By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: At the proposal of the Tajik side, who co-chairs Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process this year, a virtual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of this process was held on Tuesday August 25.
According to the Tajik MFA information department, the meeting started with welcoming speeches of the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Khusrav Noziri and Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Mirwais Nab.
The meeting was reportedly attended by representatives of the participating and supporting countries, international and regional organizations, international financial institutions.
The issues of preparation for the 9th Conference of Foreign Ministers of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, scheduled to be held in Dushanbe at the end of this year, the security situation in the region and Afghanistan, cooperation between the member nations to support establishment of peace and stability in this country, implementation of regional projects with the support of international and regional organizations, international financial institutions and donor countries were discussed during SOM.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors. This region-led dialogue was launched in November 2011 to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in facing common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotic, poverty, and extremism.
The process has three pillars, namely, Political Consultation, Confidence Building Measures (CBM), and cooperation with regional organizations. India is the lead country for trade, commerce and investment CBM.
The Process participating countries include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates.
The United States and over 20 other nations and organizations serve as “supporting nations” to the process.