Samarkand, 13 April 2023 (TDI): The 4th Ministerial Conference of the neighboring Afghanistan countries is underway in Uzbekistan. It brought together the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Russia, China, and Iran.

The conference, initiated by Pakistan in 2021, aims to establish a regional approach to the situation in Afghanistan. The Afghan nation has been struggling with decades of conflict and instability.

Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia; Qin Gang, the Foreign Minister of China; Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Foreign Minister of Iran; Hina Rabbani Khar, the Minister of State of Pakistan; Bakhtiyor Saidov, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan; Sirojiddin Muhriddin, the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan; and Rashid Meredov the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan are attending this summit.

The ministers discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and their respective countries’ role in bringing about peace and stability in the region. The Foreign Ministers reiterated their commitment to Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.

They emphasized the necessity of establishing an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan with the full participation of the Afghan people, including the Taliban, based on the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

The Foreign Ministers examined the growing catastrophe in Afghanistan. They pledged to support efforts to address the Afghan people’s critical humanitarian needs. They stressed the significance of offering the Afghan people necessities without political constraints.

The 4th Ministerial Conference of the neighboring countries of Afghanistan is an essential forum for these four countries to explore their collective efforts towards promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan.

The conference is expected to yield constructive outcomes that will benefit Afghanistan and the wider region. The presence of the Foreign Ministers of these countries is a testament to their adherence to promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan.

Each country has played an influential role in its capacity to support Afghanistan in its journey toward a more secure and prosperous future.

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Role of Countries in Afghanistan Peace Process

As the mechanism’s initiator, Pakistan has facilitated regional cooperation in Afghanistan. Pakistan has harbored millions of Afghan refugees over the past four decades.

The country has advocated for a peaceful and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.

It also provides humanitarian assistance and supports infrastructure development.

Pakistan has used its influence with the Taliban to encourage them to negotiate with the Afghan government and the international community.

In 2020, Pakistan hosted a historic direct peace talk between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Islamabad, the first high-level meeting between the two sides.

Pakistan has also provided a platform for the Taliban to participate in the peace process. It has urged the group to reduce violence and negotiate with the Afghan government.

Russia has been actively involved in the peace process in Afghanistan. It facilitated peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. It has also provided humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, especially in areas affected by conflict.

China has taken a multi-faceted approach to supporting the peace process in Afghanistan. The nation has hosted several negotiations with the Taliban and other regional entities to build a consensus on the best route forward.

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China has also invested heavily in infrastructure development, such as building roads and railways. It has also been assisting in constructing a major highway between Kabul and Peshawar in Pakistan, which would help promote economic development and regional integration.

Iran, as Afghanistan’s neighbor, has been providing much-needed support to Afghan refugees. The country hosts over three million Afghan refugees within its borders. Additionally, Iran has been supplying energy to the nation. It also collaborates closely with the Afghan government on trade and economic matters.

Turkmenistan has supported the peace process by providing a transit route for emergency supplies and constructing infrastructure in Afghanistan. Tajikistan shares a 1,344-kilometer border with Afghanistan. It has been a critical partner in Afghanistan’s fight against the Taliban’s threat to the Afghan people.

Tajikistan assisted in the country’s military efforts, drug suppression, and logistical support. Moreover, it played the role of mediator in negotiations between the Afghan presidency and the Taliban.

Uzbekistan also built bridges between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Uzbekistan has invested in infrastructure developments, such as roads and railroads, essential to Afghanistan’s economic growth.

The Central Asian States also offer humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. These countries have highlighted the importance of an integrated peace process and preserving Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and national unity. Additionally, they have emphasized the value of regional collaboration in maintaining security and stability in Afghanistan.