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‘Afghanistan centre for cooperation, not confrontation’

AT Monitoring Desk-KAKUl: Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani, on Friday described at the Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Baku as a reaffirmation of shared commitment to the Istanbul process.

An overarching goal of the process was promoting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia region, the minister told the 7th ministerial meeting in the Azerbaijan capital.

While acknowledging the active role CBM lead-countries had played to implement projects, he hailed the addition of the CBM on agriculture as relevant. Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia region had traditionally enjoyed a productive agricultural sector, he said.

Regional cooperation had become an imperative to address common challenges, bolster security and advance the region’s socio-economic development, the CEO added.

The HoA was reflective of Afghanistan’s strong commitment to being a centre for cooperation, not confrontation, the foreign minister remarked. He welcomed support for Afghanistan’s efforts to use its central location to enhance wider regional economic cooperation.

Connectivity through Afghanistan would spur trade, transit and investment, ensuring economic growth throughout the region, the CEO hoped.

“In turn, this will help stabilise Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia region against such major common security threats as terrorism, radicalism, and criminality, which hinder our shared prosperity towards economic integration.”

He also commended steps taken for the implementation of:  TAPI, CASA-1000, TAP 500 transmission line, the five-nation railroad and the air-cargo between Afghanistan and India.

Also, the Chabahar trade and transit corridor is increasingly operational, according to the minister, who also cited the signing of the Lapis Lazuli Trade and Transit Agreement.


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