The Ninth Senior Officials Meeting of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process Held in Beijing

Kabul-July 10, 2014
The Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was held in Beijing on July 10, 2014. This meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ershad Ahmadi and the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Liu Zhenmin. Representatives from 14 Heart of Asia Member Countries, 17 supporting countries of the process, and 12 regional and international organizations participated in this meeting.
Mr. Liu Zhenmin praised the extensive participation of Afghans in the presidential elections and emphasized peace, stability, and national unity of Afghanistan. He said that Afghanistan is in a sensitive moment and the country’s stability is crucial to the region’s stability. He also stressed the completion of electoral process according to Afghanistan’s constitutional framework  and expressed his hope about the effectiveness of results for Afghanistan’s stability and national unity. Mr. Zhenmin laid more emphasis on regional cooperation and support for the Istanbul Process.
Mr. Ershad Ahmadi highlighted the widespread participation of Afghans in the elections and the role of Afghan Security Forces in ensuring security. Mr. Ershad Ahmadi expressed his hope that problems related to elections would soon be solved and a new government in accordance with the constitution of Afghanistan and with legal and political legitimacy would take over.
Details were presented about the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference that is going to be held in Tianjin on August 29, 2014. Mr. Zhenmin said that the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference will be the first international conference to be held while there will be a new government in Afghanistan.
The draft of joint statement of the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference prepared by Afghanistan and China and shared with member countries, supporting countries, and regional and international organizations was explained in that meeting. The Member countries expressed their views about the general issues of this draft, and it was decided that the details of viewpoints would comprehensively be discussed in the Ambassadors’ Meeting in Kabul.
This draft highlights more regional cooperation in fighting common threats and expanding common opportunities in the region.
Another joint statement was also prepared by Heart of Asia Member Countries which is about the recent political improvements in Afghanistan in which stability, national unity, and territorial integrity has been emphasized.
As the leader of the Istanbul Process, Afghanistan presented a comprehensive report about the progress made in the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and a guideline for better confidence building activities to the member countries. He also introduced the Istanbul Process Website, which is a means of better coordination and information sharing.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was established in November 2011 in order to strengthen regional cooperation and overcome common regional challenges and threats so that the ground would be paved for political dialogue and confidence building among the Heart of Asia Countries.