14 January 2019
H. E. Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan attended the first Ministerial Meeting of the “India – Central Asia-Afghanistan” Dialogue through invitation of H. E. Kamilove, Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan and H.E. Swaraj, External Affairs minister of India, held in Samarkand city of Republic of Uzbekistan.
This dialogue was organized by India and hosted by the Republic of Uzbekistan, where the distinguished delegates discussed key and relevant issues among Afghanistan, India and Central Asia countries.
At first, the respected ministers of the participating countries welcomed the participation of H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan as an important land link in the regional cooperation, transit of goods, energy, promoting regional relations, promoting economic cooperation for reconstruction of Afghanistan, which all these will end up for the benefit of the all participating countries at this dialogue.
The Foreign Ministers as well emphasized that increasing and promoting the cooperation among Afghanistan, India and Central Asia countries can be a key factor for Peace, Security and stability of Afghanistan to promote inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan owned peace process and reconciliation. Additionally, the Foreign Ministers pointed out that these remarkable developments can be achieved through the implementation and increasing of joint infrastructure, transit and transport, energy projects including regional cooperation and investment projects.
Later on, H. E. Salahuddin Rabbani Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan appreciated the countries for participating at this Ministerial meeting and inviting Afghanistan stating that these dialogues will pave the way for promoting the relations between Afghanistan, India and Central Asia. As well he stated that “this underpins our growing common interests and objectives in further deepening connectivity, which helps expand and promote regional economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts through education, tourism, and cultural exchange.”
Additionally, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan stated that Afghanistan has the status of a land bridge and a point of convergence among the South Asia and Central Asia to Europe. Meanwhile, Afghanistan can help unlock the enormous economic opportunities that exist in the region. Subsequently, he pointed out the status of Afghanistan as a hub for transit of goods by illustrating two mega regional energy projects: first, TAPI gas pipeline between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and second CASA 1000 Electricity transmission line between Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan- which have witnessed very promising progress recently.
H.E. Foreign Affairs Minister of Afghanistan by pointing out the Railway project of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, Lapis Lazuli route, Chabahar Corridor, implementing the SDGs, Air Corridor, Transit and Transport corridors – including between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, as well as between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan which is underway, deeply thanked and appreciated India and Central Asian Countries for their sustainable supports and cooperation in implementing these projects within the boundaries of Afghanistan.
At the end of this Ministerial Dialogue, the Foreign Affairs Ministers emphasized on Promoting the Economic cooperation and relations, opening door to new transit routes from and through Afghanistan, investment of India and other Central Asian countries, implementing joint infrastructure projects and improving the Cultural bonds with Afghanistan.