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Ashgabat to host regional meeting to assist Afghanistan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  The Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan has organized the fifth meeting of Regional Infrastructure Confidence-Building Measures (RI-CBM) technical groups in Ashgabat for Thursday as a continuation of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan, the OSCE Ashgabat office said in a message.
The meeting was supported by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “The Istanbul Process offers a common platform for discussing the participating States’ efforts for regional co-operation and economic integration,” said Ambassador Natalya Drozd, head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.
“Ten years ago, at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid, the OSCE participating States acknowledged the importance of Afghanistan’s long-term peace and stability for the security of the OSCE region,” said Drozd. “The OSCE Centre in Ashgabat is committed to contributing to the efforts to engage with Afghanistan and support the regional dialogue for peace and prosperity within the Istanbul Process”.
The agenda of the meeting was included discussions on the ongoing regional energy and transport projects. Participants of the meeting exchanged views on issues such as the role of transit corridors for regional integration and regional energy co-operation as a factor of sustainable economic development and stability.
The event brought together representatives of the participating States of the Istanbul Process, regional and international organizations and international stakeholders.
The Istanbul Process was created as a platform for regional dialogue and co-operation for encouraging security, political, and economic stability between Afghanistan and its neighbors.
The regional technical groups for the RI-CBM within the Istanbul Process are currently co-chaired by Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The project also includes a number of large-scale regional initiatives, including the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, the Asian International Railway Corridor and the Lapis Lazuli Trade and Transportation Corridor.
Assistance in the organization of the regional technical groups meeting is provided within the framework of an extra budgetary project of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.

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