Abu Dhabi, 17 April 2021
Strengthen Regional Cooperation to Meet the Challenges
The Republic of Tajikistan appreciated the strong and effective efforts and participation of the United Arab Emirates within the activities of the Ninth Ministerial Conference to Promote Peace, Security and Prosperity in Afghanistan and the Central Asian Region, which was held in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, as part of the so-called ‘Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process’.
A statement issued by the Tajik embassy in Abu Dhabi and said:”The last ministerial conference entitled “Strengthening consensus for Peace and Development” was hosted by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on 30th March 2021. The conference was planned to be held in 2020 which could not be held due to situations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Later, it was agreed to hold the conference in Tajikistan with the aim to intensify multilateral cooperation for continuous peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.
The Conference was inaugurated with the statements delivered by the Tajikistan President, H.E Emomali Rahmon and his Afghan counterpart, H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. Tajikistan President, H.E. Emomali Rahmon have mentioned in the speech: “Tajikistan and Afghanistan are linked by many common and close neighborly ties. The glorious people of this brotherly country share our language and culture, and our common historical roots go back thousands of years. Therefore, it is natural that we are not indifferent to the fate of our Afghan brothers. Every pain and suffering of the Afghan people resonates in the hearts of the Tajik people”. Tajikistan has common border of more than 1,400 km with Afghanistan, thus is interested in the establishment of everlasting peace and stability in a brotherly country. Tajikistan will continue its commitment for the restoration of peace and creating solid platform for the sustainable development of brotherly Afghanistan.
The Dushanbe summit held in the Tajik capital stressed the importance of dialogue among member states and uniting efforts to combat terrorism, while the declaration issued by the meeting included several issues related to coordinating efforts among HOA-IP Countries for achieving sustainable development in Asia.
The summit aims to maintain security and stability, resolve conflicts, consolidate peace, enhance regional and global cooperation, combat extremism and terrorism, and promote tolerance and mutual understanding.
Dushanbe, the capital of the Republic of Tajikistan, hosted the ninth session of the Ministerial Conference of the Central Asian Group, under the slogan “Consolidation for Peace and Development” on March 30, 2021, and the conference was scheduled to be held in 2020, which could not be held due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dushanbe ministers’ summit was attended by foreign ministers and high-level representatives from 15 participating countries, especially Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Qatar, Kazakhstan, India, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, 16 supportive countries, and the conference was attended by 16 heads of regional and international supporting organizations.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process aims to promote and strengthen peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region through Confidence building and regional cooperation amongst 15 regional countries. Since its inception the process has become a cardinal element in regional cooperation and has created a platform for Afghanistan’s near and extended neighbors, international supporters and organizations to engage in constructive dialogue and to address the existing and emerging regional challenges through regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its core. The process has three main pillars stated as:
Political Consultation: The political consultation was created in recognition of the need to build and strengthen trust in the region. It is an integral element of the HOA – IP as it creates a platform for the regional participating countries, supporting countries and international organizations to engage in continuous and constructive dialogue that could result in a joint effort to address regional priorities with Afghanistan at its center.
Confidence Building Measures (CBMs): As a result of the 2nd HOA – IP conference held in Kabul, the Participating Countries of the process prioritized 7 areas of cooperation as confidence building measures: counter-narcotics; counterterrorism; culture & education; regional infrastructure; disaster management and environmental protection; trade, commerce & investment opportunities and agriculture development. A Confidence Building Measure (CBM) provides a framework for a specific issue that is a regional priority, each CBM has a dedicated focal point responsible for the coordination of efforts towards reaching and adopting an Implementation Plan by the lead and supporting that specific CBM.
Cooperation with Regional Organizations: The heart of Asia – Istanbul Process emphasizes on creating synergy with other regional organizations and their efforts in the areas of security, economic cooperation and people – to – people relations, however the process does not intend to substitute any of the regional organizations or their efforts but rather support and complement their work when necessary and particularly when it relates to Afghanistan.
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