Heart of Asia Conference


What is Heart of Asia Conference?
  • HoA conference is a part of the Istanbul Process established in 2011 which provides a platform to discuss an agenda of regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its centre.
  • It seeks to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbours.
  • Its three main elements are
    • Political Consultation involving Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbours.
    • Achieving sustained incremental approach for implementation of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) identified in the Istanbul Process document.
    • Seeks to contribute and bring greater coherence to work of various regional processes and organisations, particularly as they relate to Afghanistan.
  • 14 participating countries: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
  • These countries engage in result-oriented cooperation for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and, by extension, a secure and prosperous region as a whole.
  • Supporting countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and US.
  • Supporting Organisations: UN, NATO, SAARC, SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation).
Amritsar Declaration
The sixth edition of ‘Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process of Aghanistan‘ conference was held in Amritsar, Punjab (India). It concluded with adaptation of Amritsar Declaration with its prime focus on terrorism.
  • Terrorism: It is the biggest threat to peace and security. It is needed to end all forms of terrorism and all supporting financial activities and safe havens providing sanctuary to it.
  • Expressed concern over violence caused in Afghanistan and region by terrorists groups like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Daesh (ISIS) and Jaish-e-Mohammed. It also mentions Haqqani Network.
  • Drug menace: There is urgency to respond to the nexus between drug menace and its financial support for terrorist entities in Afghanistan.
  • CCIT: Early finalisation of the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism (CCIT).
  • Early meeting of experts must be held to discuss a draft regional counter terrorism framework strategy, recently prepared by Afghanistan for its early finalisation.
  • Connectivity: Reiterated strong support from Heart of Asia countries for use of Afghanistan’s location to enhance wider and regional economic cooperation.
  • Specific initiatives for regional connectivity including Iran-India-Afghanistan trilateral agreement on developing Chabahar were acknowledged
  • OBOR: Welcomes the MOU on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt (OBOR) and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road between China and Afghanistan.
  • International community and ANDSF: Welcomed agreements between the international community and Afghanistan for continued financial support to the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) until 2020.


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