9th Ministerial Conference Of Heart Of Asia:
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar reached Dushanbe on a three-day visit to Tajikistan. He will attend the 9th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan.
- The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) is an initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey, which was officially launched at a conference hosted by Turkey in Istanbul on 2 November 2011.
- Since then, Afghanistan supported by fourteen Participating Countries of the Heart of Asia Region and 16 Supporting Countries beyond the region as well as 12 Regional and International Organizations is leading and coordinating this Process.
- It is a platform for promoting regional security, economic and political cooperation centered on Afghanistan through dialogue and a set of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
- The Directorate-General for Regional Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan is acting as the de facto Secretariat of the Process.
- The Heart of Asia Region: The geographical area covering the 15 Participating Countries of the HoA-IP is defined as the Heart of Asia Region. It is one of the biggest regions in the world with a collective geographical area of more than 40 million km2 covering around 27% of the land area of the Earth.
- As the lead country for Trade, Commerce, and Investment Confidence Building Measure under Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, India has made concerted efforts for strengthening regional connectivity for the greater economic integration of Afghanistan with the region.
- A dedicated Air Freight Corridor between cities of India and Afghanistan and operationalization of Chabahar Port in Iran steps in that direction.
- After arriving in Dushanbe today, Dr. Jaishankar visited the Dushanbe-Chortut Highway Project He lauded the Good work being done by Border Roads Organisation BRO under Indian grant assistance. The 8-lane highway will decongest Dushanbe.