Istanbul Process

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Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process
Founded 2 Nov 2011 - Istanbul, Turkey
Type Intergovernmental organization (IGO)
Primary Objective Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan and near and extended neighbours
Cooperation Directorate Kabul, Afghanistan
Ministerial Conferences
Member Countries[1]

The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors. This region-led dialogue was launched in November 2011 to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in facing common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotics, poverty, and extremism. The United States and over 20 other nations and organizations serve as "supporting nations" to the process.[2]

On April 26, 2013, Almaty, Kazakhstan, hosted the third Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process[3] which gathered leaders from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan,and the United Arab Emirates along with Western countries and international organizations, to discuss mechanisms to support regional cooperation. The April meeting focused on the creation of "Silk Routes Partnership for Migration" to promote further dialogue and cooperation on the issue of migration.[4] The meeting also produced a declaration in support of Afghanistan’s development and the withdrawal of international forces. Kazakhstan’s diplomats supported regional efforts in the areas of counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics trafficking, trade promotion, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, the CASA-1000 electricity project, and the expansion of the transit corridors under the Asian Development Bank’s Central Asia Regional Economic Corridor (CAREC) Program. Kazakhstan has helped to fund the Afghan National Security Forces and financed a fifty-million-dollar program to educate Afghan students in Kazakhstan.[5]



Four Tier Pillars of Political Consultations[edit]

  • Ministerial Conference (MC) :Once a year
  • Senior Officials Meetings (SOMs): Three times a year
  • Ambassadorial Meetings (AMs): Discretion of Permanent Chair
  • Regional Technical Group Meetings (RTGs): Two a year within CBM (Confidence Building Measure)[6]

Ministerial Conferences[edit]

4th Ministerial Conference[edit]

The 4th Heart of Asia - Istanbul Ministerial Process was held in Beijing on October 31, 2014. The event co-chairs were Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani.[7] For the first time, China was the host of the Istanbul Ministerial Process. The October 2014 meeting aimed at promoting peace and co-operation between Afghanistan and its neighbors.[8][9]

5th Ministerial Conference[edit]

The 5th Heart of Asia - Istanbul Ministerial Process was held in Islamabad, Pakistan on December 9, 2015. It was co-chaired by Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs.[10]

6th Ministerial Conference[edit]

6th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia summit was held in Amritsar, India, from December 3 to December 4, 2016. The meeting was inaugurated by president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and co-chaired by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India and Salahuddin Rabbani, minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.

Amritsar Declaration: Highlights[edit]

  • Terrorism, particularly, state-sponsored terrorism was identified as a key challenge and members agreed upon a concerted effort to dismantle all kinds of terrorism. The regional meet unanimously named Terrorist groups in Pakistan and asked for action.[11] The Express Tribune, a Pakistani English daily quoted Afghan president's statement "Taliban insurgency would not survive a month if it lost its sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan".[12] The next day, Indian English daily Hindustan Times wrote an editorial saying "Ghani’s criticism of Pakistan affirms India’s portrayal of Islamabad".[13]
  • Members reiterated their belief in principles of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, sovereign equality of nations as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
  • Members expressed their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Members called up for leveraging the cultural heritage of the region to drive economic and social development.
  • Members consented on eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade.[14]

Side Developments[edit]

  • India asserted financial aid to the tune of $1 billion to Afghanistan to improve infrastructure and fuel the socio-economic agendas of the later.[15]
  • India and Afghanistan also went for a bilateral meeting and a roadmap for air corridor was agreed upon, which is likely boost trade between the two countries. Afghanistan depends on the Pakistani port of Karachi for its foreign trade. It is allowed to send a limited amount of goods overland through Pakistan into India, but imports from India are not allowed along this route.[16]

7th Ministerial Conference[edit]

The 7th Ministerial Conference will be held in Azerbaijan in the year 2017. Azerbaijan will be co-chairing the process.

Senior Officials Meet[edit]

14th Senior Official Meeting[edit]

The 14th Senior Official's Meeting Heart of Asia - was held in New Delhi on 26 April 2016.[17][18][19] And its object bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan[20]


  1. ^ "The Official Site". Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Support for the Istanbul Process". US Department of State. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Istanbul Ministerial Declaration on "A Silk Routes Partnership for Migration"". INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR MIGRATION POLICY DEVELOPMENT. 
  5. ^ "Istanbul Process Ministerial: Results and Prospects for the Future". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 
  6. ^ "Political Consultations". Heart of Asia (HoA)-Istanbul Process. Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  7. ^ "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 24, 2014". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Breslin, Shaun. "Beijing is becoming a US deputy in Afghanistan". China Spectator. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "International conference on Afghanistan in Beijing highlights China's growing role in region". Fox News. Associated Press. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
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  14. ^ "Charter: Highlights". NDTV. Retrieved 2016-11-04. 
  15. ^ "Bilateral Cooperation: Highlights". Indian Express. Retrieved 2016-11-04. 
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