Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday stressed that peace in neighboring Afghanistan hinges on collaboration among regional states.
Zarif arrived in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad earlier in the day to attend the ongoing Western Asia session of “Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process” conference.
Speaking to reporters upon arrival, Zarif said the conference is “an initiative for international cooperation to reinforce security and stability” in the heart of Asia, Afghanistan in particular.
“Regional cooperation is necessary for the enhancement of peace in Afghanistan, and regional states should join hands to improve stability since the security in the region is interconnected,” the Iranian minister asserted.
“The negotiations that are underway here can help (the peace process),” he added.
At the regional level, Iran is responsible for the field of “training”, Zarif announced, noting that the country will confer with other countries in their fields of responsibility in a bid to make decisions on optimal cooperation and advancement of security and stability in the extremism-hit region.
He also said that the fight against drug trafficking is also on the agenda of talks among the countries attending the Heart of Asia conference.
Heart of Asia conference is part of the ‘Istanbul Process’, which provides a platform to discuss an agenda of regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its center.
‘Heart of Asia’ countries engage in result-oriented cooperation for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and, by extension, a secure and prosperous region as a whole.
Fourteen member countries are supported by 16 other countries and 12 regional and international organizations. The member countries are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE.
The United States, Japan, Egypt, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are among the supporting countries, and the UN, NATO, SAARC, SCO and OIC are among the supporting organizations.