Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process Senior Officials Meeting
KABUL – The Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process was held via video conference call on August 25, 2020. The meeting was co-chaired by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mirwais Nab and the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Tajikistan, Khosrow Nazari. Other participants included representatives from other member countries, supporting countries, regional and international organizations.
At the outset, the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of cooperation and coordination between member countries in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and the success of the Afghan peace process. Deputy Minister Nab highlighted the recent decision taken by the Loya Jirga on peace, the exchange of prisoners, the importance of a humanitarian ceasefire and emphasized the need for support from member countries of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process and the international community for the immediate start of talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan also affirmed the importance of cooperation between the member countries of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process in combating the COVID-19 and Afghan peace process. He reiterated that the support of all member states of the Istanbul Process is vital and important for the success of the Afghan peace process and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, participants discussed the seven Confidence Building Measures (CBM) endorsed by member countries and emphasized the importance of finalizing the implementation of the women empowerment CBM. In addition, participants exchanged views on the upcoming Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference and the importance of strengthening regional and international support and consensus for the start of Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace talks.