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Monday, 26 August 2019 10:18

The Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process convened in Ankara

25 June, 2019

The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Sedat Önal, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and H.E. Idrees Zaman, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of I.R. of Afghanistan.
Senior officials and representatives from participating and supporting countries as well as regional and international organizations of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process participated in the meeting. 

At this meeting representatives of participating and supporting countries, as well as, regional and international organizations: 
-- Reaffirmed their support to Afghanistan in achieving peace, stability and development, 
-- Underlined the need for a cohesive regional approach in tackling transboundary challenges as well as for enhancing regional connectivity in support of economic development,
-- Reiterated their commitment to the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process as a platform for promoting and supporting cooperation in the region,
-- Underlined the uniqueness of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process as a comprehensive political dialogue platform among others and expressed the importance of continued discussion and consultations, 
-- Expressed their support for successful holding of the upcoming presidential elections, 
-- Welcomed the recent efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan, noted the Consultative Loya Jirga convened on 29 April-3 May 2019 in Kabul,
-- Emphasized the importance of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process for sustainable peace and called for initiation of intra – Afghan dialogue,
-- Expressed that the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process with its singular format could complement peace efforts, in particular at this stage, in coordinating and streamlining the messages given to the sides of peace process, 
-- Welcomed the statement of Turkey to host the Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process at a sutiable time both for Afghanistan and the region by the end of 2019, 
-- Also welcomed the decision of Tajikistan to host the Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process in 2020,
-- Discussed the draft Confidence Building Measure Implementation plans prepared by Afghanistan and decided to convey their views on the draft texts by 10 July 2019 with a view to finalize drafting of the texts by the next Senior Officials Meeting, 
-- Appreciated the concept notes for regional conferences on Counter Terrorism and Counter Narcotics, Fostering Dialogue among Religous Scholars and Climate Change prepared by Afghanistan within context of Confidence Building Measures, 
-- Welcomed and encouraged participation in the regional conference on Counter Terrorism and Counter Narcotics which is scheculed to take place in Kazakhstan on 22 July 2019, 
-- Appreciated the proposal of India to host the regional conferences on Fostering Dialogue among Religious Scholars and Climate Change, 
-- Welcomed the decision of Australia to support the Agriculture Confidence Building Measure.
The co-chairs announced their intention to hold the next session of the Senior Officials Meeting in the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, September 2019.

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