Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Press Release 28 September 2018, New York

Category: Oct 9, 09:58 PM

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process holds its second 2nd Senior Officials Meeting
New York- September 2018

The second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) in 2018, under the co-chairmanship of Afghanistan and Turkey, held on 28 September, 2018, in New York with the participation of senior officials and representatives from participating and supporting countries, regional and international organizations of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP).
H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the I.R. of Afghanistan, opened the meeting and H.E Adela Raz, Deputy Foreign Minister of I.R. of Afghanistan and H.E. Sedat Önal, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey co-chaired the meeting.

Foreign Minister Rabbani in his remarks commended Turkey’s role for helping establish the HoA-IP initiative seven years before and for hosting the next ministerial conference in Turkey. He stressed the importance of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process as a platform that has generated practical cooperation among a wide-spectrum of stakeholders to advance strategic imperatives within the framework of six confidence building measures (CMBs).

The meeting continued discussions on the revision of six CBMs Implementation Plans of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process; the draft implementation of agriculture development CBM; the (HoA-IP) draft working guidelines and the preparations for the 8th Ministerial Conference of the HoA-IP in Turkey. It was followed by statements and political consultations.

In the statements made by representatives of participating and supporting countries as well as representatives of regional and international organizations, including the United Nations they reaffirmed their commitments to continuing their support for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan. They also stressed the importance of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process as a regional platform for addressing challenges such as terrorism, narcotics and organized crimes through regional cooperation and confidence building.

Moreover, participants welcomed the revision of six confidence building measures (CBMs) of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process with a view to increase their effectiveness and implementation. They also welcomed the new CBM of agriculture development to be finalized by Ministerial Conference this year.

In addition, speakers expressed their support to the efforts of Afghan government towards ensuring peace and prosperity in Afghanistan, and emphasized on the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, as well as participation of women in peace talks. Meanwhile, representatives also expressed their concerns over an increase in terrorist attacks in Kabul and different parts of Afghanistan; they underlined the need for a cohesive regional approach to fight against terror.

The meeting concluded by briefings and presentations  on Peace and Reconciliation efforts by H.E. Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, Head of High Peace Council’s Secretariat and Special Representative of the President for Political Affairs; on Regional Security Threats and Counter-terrorism efforts by Mr. Arian Sharifi, Head of Threats Assessment, Office of National Security Council; and on Infrastructure Development: Priorities and needs in the Heart of Asia region by Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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