Meeting in Turkmenistan focuses on confidence building, infrastructure in Afghanistan

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry, with the support of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, on September 6 hosted the fourth meeting of the regional technical working groups on confidence-building measures in the framework of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan, the OSCE said.

The working groups presented countries’ reports on their activities and plans for future action regarding infrastructure projects. Participants also exchanged views on enhancing the efficiency of interaction among the countries and international organizations during the implementation of projects.

Since 2012, Turkmenistan jointly with Azerbaijan, co-chairs the Regional Infrastructure Confidence-Building Measures (RI-CBM) technical groups. The RI-CBM includes the implementation of a number of major regional projects, such as the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railroad, as well as electricity power lines.

“The OSCE sees long-term security and stability in Afghanistan as having a direct impact on security in the OSCE region and undertakes various activities to support regional initiatives that address security and other issues in Afghanistan,” said Natalya Drozd, Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat. “This meeting is organized as part of the Centre’s project aimed at assisting the Government of Turkmenistan in carrying out its role as Co-Chair of the RI-CBM regional technical groups within the Istanbul Process and the Centre stands ready to provide further support in this area.”

The event was attended by representatives of the participating states of the Istanbul Process, as well as regional and international organizations, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Providing assistance in the organization of the regional technical group meeting is part of an extra-budgetary project of the OSCE Centre funded by the United States.

The Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political and economic co-operation among Afghanistan and its neighbors. The participating states of the Process include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates.

Sergey Kwan

TCA