External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will participate in the 9th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan today. Dr Jaishankar reached Dushanbe yesterday on a three day visit.
He called on President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani before the commencement of Heart of Asia Conference. Dr Jaishankar began his Heart of Asia engagements with a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. He also met Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the sidelines of the Conference.
After arriving in Dushanbe yesterday, Dr Jaishankar visited the Dushanbe-Chortut Highway Project site. He lauded the Good work being done by Border Roads Organisation BRO under Indian grant assistance. The 8-lane highway will decongest Dushanbe.
The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was founded on 2nd November, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. It provides a platform for sincere and result-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region. This platform was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners. It comprises 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations. India co-hosted the 6th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Amritsar, Punjab in December 2016.
The platform’s constructive role is also consistent with India’s vision of achieving lasting stability and prosperity for Afghanistan, anchored in a regional environment that is united, stable, secure, pluralistic, democratic, and economically prosperous. As the lead country for Trade, Commerce and Investment Confidence Building Measure under Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, India has made concerted efforts for strengthening regional connectivity for the greater economic integration of Afghanistan with the region. The visit will further enhance India’s outreach to Central Asian countries with a special focus on Afghanistan.