Jawed Ludin, a former deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan, on Tuesday said that the Heart of Asia conference had failed to create regional consensus.
Ludin said that in terms of its format, the conference is a good platform, but he insisted that enough work was not carried out within the conference to help improve regional consensus, particularly about the Afghan peace process, or to improve mutual trust between regional nations.
“There was political fragmentation at the regional level, there is also mistrust at the regional level and unfortunately this also exists today,” said Ludin.
Ludin also said that only sporadic efforts were made to build a political consensus among countries in the region, which hindered the path to achieve the goals of the conference.
“Today this Heart of Asia conference-Istanbul process could have been a good framework for regional consensus in support of Afghan peace,” added Ludin.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani, in an address to the ninth Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference in Tajikistan, offered details on his government’s plan for a potential UN-led conference in Turkey expected to take place next month, and he reiterated the need to conduct peace efforts within the country’s constitution.
Ghani said that peace efforts require patience: “We envision three phases to this passage: making, building and sustaining peace, focused on achieving the agreed upon end state of a sovereign, democratic, united, neutral and connected Afghanistan.”
Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was launched in 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, to help find a solution to the challenges facing Afghanistan. Fifteen countries participate in this process, while another 17 countries and 12 regional and international organizations support it.
“From the political perspective, these meetings can help Afghanistan to be in a better position, this could be a good achievement for Afghanistan,” said Assadullah Zaeeri, a university lecturer.