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Regional Ministers Discuss Need for Peace at Dushanbe Summit

Regional Ministers Discuss Need for Peace at Dushanbe Summit

DUSHANBE - India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed delegates at the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe on Tuesday and pointed out that a “double peace” was need – peace within the country and peace around the country.
Focusing in on three key points, Jaishankar said: “For a durable peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonizing the interests of all, both within and around that country.”
He also stated that if the peace process is to be successful, “then it is necessary to ensure that the negotiating parties continue to engage in good faith, with a serious commitment towards reaching a political solution”.
According to him all parties to the conference “are striving for a more inclusive Afghanistan that can overcome decades of conflict. But that will happen only if we stay true to principles that Heart of Asia has long embodied. Collective success may not be easy but the alternative is only collective failure.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also addressed delegates and said Tehran supports a peace process that is Afghan-led but called on the UN to not allow foreign countries’ policies to jeopardize Afghanistan’s future.
He also said there was a need for a responsible withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and emphasized that “the region must be vigilant to fight against Daesh.”
“All countries should be alert about Daesh’s attempt to use religious extremist elements in religious and ethnic conflicts in Afghanistan,” he said.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meanwhile said his country is working with all parties to accelerate the Afghan peace process.
On the planned US-backed peace summit in Istanbul, scheduled to take place early next month, Cavusoglu said he hopes the meeting will produces tangible results.
“We have invited many countries, we expect the Istanbul Summit to pave the way for an end to the war in Afghanistan.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also attending the Dushanbe conference, told delegates “we have consistently cautioned against the role of spoilers both within and outside Afghanistan.”
He said Pakistan was also concerned about the continuation of violence across Afghanistan.
UNAMA chief Deborah Lyons in turn told delegates at the conference the “collective support of regional countries will be critical in the success of the Afghan Peace Process”.
Tuesday is day two of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process summit which was founded in 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey. The initiative was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.
The Heart of Asia is comprised of 15 participating countries are Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russian, Pakistan, China, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. (ATN)