The fourth meeting of the regional technical working groups on confidence-building measures in the framework of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan was hosted by the foreign office of Turkmenistan and co-hosted by the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.
Under the broad initiative called Istanbul Process, where Afghan-owned, Afghan-led route to peace and stability is being paved by the neighbors and other friends of Afghanistan, the meeting reviewed the progress being made on the infrastructure development.
“Comprehensive support for the efforts of the international community to promote peace throughout the world, global security and sustainable development is a key vector of Turkmenistan’s neutral foreign policy strategy,” said Vepa Hadjiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, quoting the words of Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The event was attended by representatives of the participating states of the Istanbul Process, as well as regional and international organizations, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political and economic co-operation among Afghanistan and its neighbors. The participating states of the Process include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Wahidullah Waisi, Director of Economic Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan said that the infrastructure projects are very crucial for Afghanistan and the neighboring countries.
He added that the first train carrying freight containers from China to Afghanistan will arrive today from Chinese city of Nantong to Hairatan in the north of Afghanistan. He also told about the railway connection work between Afghanistan and Iran.
A representative of the ministry of railways of Turkmenistan said that the entire segment of TAT rail in the territory of Turkmenistan was nearly ready and the work had started on the 85-km Atamurat-Imamnazar-Akina section, of which Imamnazar-Akina line runs inside the territory of Turkmenistan. The construction work is being done entirely by Turkmenistan from its own funding and resources.
The next meeting will be held in Amritsar, India.