The 8th conference “Istanbul Process – the Heart of Asia” on the theme “Peace, cooperation and prosperity” begins today in Istanbul. The main topic of the talks at the level of Foreign Ministers, experts and heads of international organizations is regional cooperation for the future of Afghanistan.
President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani led a large delegation of his country, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other distinguished guests arrived in Istanbul to participate in the forum.
The first conference “Istanbul Process – the Heart of Asia” was held in 2011 in Istanbul. Since that time, it has been an important regional platform for political dialogue and cooperation to promote stability, peace and prosperity in the “Heart of Asia” and to expand Afghanistan’s ties with the entire region.
Among the participant-states of the “Istanbul Process” are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates. The UN is also a partner. This process is also supported by many other states and international organizations.
Turkmenistan is taking active steps to provide practical assistance to the people of Afghanistan in the reconstruction of the country’s economy. Ashgabat has been supplying its southern neighbor with electricity at preferential prices for more than two decades. The first stage of the Asian International Railway Transport Corridor “Kerki-Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) – Akina (Afghanistan)” has been launched. The construction of the Turkmen section of the TAPI Gas Pipeline is proceeding at an accelerated pace.