The Istanbul Process Ministerial: Results and Prospects for the Future

Jawed Ludin, Timur Urazayev, Robert O. Blake, Martha Brill Olcott, Frederic Grare April 26, 2013 Almaty and Washington DC
Summary
The Istanbul Process’ Heart of Asia Ministerial Conferences can play a role in efforts to promote regional stability and security in Central and South Asia.
 

The Istanbul Process Ministerial examines the Afghani recovery process and, specifically, how interregional cooperation can facilitate it. The Ministerial brings together regional representatives from both the private and public sector to discuss prospective developmental and restructuring initiatives.

On Friday, April 26 the Honorable Timur Urazayev, ambassador-at-large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ambassador Robert O. Blake, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, and Wahidullah Waissi, the director general for economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, met to discuss the results of the Istanbul Process’ Heart of Asia 3rd Ministerial Conference. Carnegie’s Martha Brill Olcott and Carnegie’s Frederic Grare moderated.

Concentrations of the Process

The process has several areas of concentration, including:

  1. Education; particularly an emphasis on student exchanges
  2. Disaster management
  3. Drug trafficking
  4. Terrorism and counter terrorism measures

It also emphasizes greater interregional cooperation. Initiatives highlighted in this discussion included:

  • The Asian Development Bank’s Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC) which is working on cross border transport agreements between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement
  • Black Sea Corridor Initiative
  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline
  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railroad project

Regional Role

Speakers also stressed the contributions made by individual countries to furthering the Afghani recovery process.

Kazakhstan

  • Has been a strong supporter of international efforts in Afghanistan, including infrastructure development.
  • Has promoted business cooperation between Kazakhs and Afghanis.
  • Helped fund the Afghan National Security Forces;
  • Funded a fifty million dollar program to educate Afghani students in Kazakhstan.

India

  • Chaired a working group on commercial relations;
  • Has been a strong trading partner;
  • Led SAIL consortium. 

Turkmenistan

  • Instrumental in improving confidence building measures;
  • Contributed to the construction of a railway line from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan to Tajikistan;
  • Engaged in efforts toward a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline. 

Uzbekistan

  • Bilaterally developing rail line from Haratan to Mazar-e-Sharif;
  • Established electricity lines to Kabul. 
Source carnegieendowment.org/2013/04/26/istanbul-process-ministerial-results-and-prospects-for-future/g05j

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