Deputy Secretary General Dr.Huseyin Avni Bicakli attended Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Senior Officials Meeting
Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Huseyin Avni Bicakli attended Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Senior Officials Meeting that took place on 25 June 2019, in Ankara.
The Economic Cooperation Organization was invited to the above-mentioned meeting as a supporting international organization by the co-chair, the Republic of Turkey.
At the meeting, Deputy Secretary Bicakli made a statement and reiterated continuous support of the Economic Cooperation Organization regarding the regional and international efforts to assist Afghanistan and Afghan people.Underlined the importance of the targets and projects of the ECO Dr. Bicakli emphasized that several projects and initiatives regarding Afghanistan such as “ECO Advocacy Programme for Afghanistan (EAPA)”, “Modalities fort he Operation of ECO Fund for Afghanistan”, “ECO Regional Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction”, “Construction of Railway from China to Europe through Kyrgyz Republic-Tajikistan-Afghnasitan-Iran (KTAI)”, “Establishment of road transport corridor between Islamabad-Tehran-Afghanistan-Istanbul”, “Establishment of ECOPOL”, “Establishment of ECO Regional Center for Cooperation of Anti-Corruption Agencies and Ombudsman”, “Capacity Building Programme on Drug and Transnational Organized Crime”, “Establishment of ECO Regional Electricity Market”.
Reminding the participants of the reality that all the ECO member states are also the members of the of “Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process”, Dr. Bicakli stressed that the ECO is indirectly full member of this important initiative for Afghanistan.
As it is well known that the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA) was founded on November 2nd, 2011 in Istanbul. The Heart of Asia provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
This platform 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, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations.
The Meeting was held with chairmanship of Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mr. Idrees Zaman and Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Sedat Onal, and with the participation of high-ranking officials of the member states and supporting states of the process.
In his opening remarks, while welcoming the participants to the event, Mr. Zaman deemed the Istanbul Process valuable for the regional cooperation, and asked for the collaboration and coordination of member states for the peace process of Afghanistan.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey also talked on the common regional interests and the role of Istanbul process in it, and asked the participants to contribute to the peace process of Afghanistan.
In this meeting, the participating countries declared their support for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and emphasized furtherance of regional collaboration to jointly combat terrorism.
Additionally, it was decided that the next Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Senior Officials Meeting, hosted by Turkey, will be held in Istanbul in late 2019. And it was decided as well the next Ministerial Meeting to be held in New York in September 2019 in the sideline of UNGA.