KABUL: Tajikistan that is hosting the ninth round of the Istanbul-Heart of Asia conference, declared support for a lasting cease fire in neighboring Afghanistan.
President Ashraf Ghani flew Monday for Dushanbe to participate in the conference. He was welcomed by his Tajik counterpart Imom Ali Rahmon, who expressed his country’s support for the Afghan cease fire.
Ghani called it a clear message to Taliban and their supporters.
“This is a two-day visit and President Ghani will meet Tajikistan’s president, prime minister and parliament speaker at the sideline of the conference,” said Dawa Khan Minapal, Ghani’s spokesman.
Representatives from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, European Union, NATO, the United States, Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, foreign ministers and ambassadors from 50 countries and international organizations will attend the conference.
The participant countries worked on a joint statement on the first day of the conference, but the main session is going to be held today (Tuesday) with the presence of President Rahmon and officials from guest countries.
The conference is held just days before another session expected to be held in Turkey on the Afghan peace.
“The Heart of Asia conference aims to support peace talks in Afghanistan, empowering the peace process and a regional and international consensus for this purpose. It also aims to strengthen political, security and economic cooperation in the region,” foreign ministry spokesman Geran Hewad said.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has emphasized on a political solution in Afghan issues.
“Everybody knows that Afghan tension has no military solution. Therefore, a political agreement is a must between Afghans. We are working on a diplomatic way and shared our viewpoints with Afghans and Taliban,” Blinken told the CNN.