Dushanbe is expected to host a senior officials meeting and the 9th Ministerial Conference of  the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) on March 29 and 30. 

Initiated by the Afghan Foreign Ministry and Tajik Embassy in Kabul, an ambassadorial meeting of the HoA-IP took place in the Afghan capital on February 25.

According to the Tajik MFA information department, the meeting brought together chiefs of diplomatic missions of member nations of the HoA-IP active in Kabul.

Speaking at the meeting, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, Mirwais Nab, noted that the Heart of Asia - the Istanbul Process is a good platform for cooperation and coordination.

He reportedly called for the expansion of regional cooperation with a focus on Afghanistan, especially on a regional consensus for peace, in order to pave the way for peace in the country.

Tajik Ambassador to Afghanistan Sa’di Sharifi, for his part, announced Tajikistan's readiness to hold a senior officials meeting and the 9th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process on March 29 and 30 in Dushanbe and called for active participation.

Participants then reviewed draft documents related to the 9th Ministerial Conference – Dushanbe Declaration, Women Empowerment Confidence Building Measures and Disaster Management and Environmental Protection CBM HoA-IP, the Tajik MFA information department said.

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is an initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey, which was officially launched at a conference hosted by Turkey in Istanbul on November 2, 2011.  Since then, Afghanistan supported by fourteen Participating Countries of the Heart of Asia Region and 16 Supporting Countries beyond the region as well as 12 Regional and International Organizations is leading and coordinating this Process.  It is a platform for promoting regional security, economic and political cooperation centered on Afghanistan through dialogue and a set of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process aims at promoting and strengthening peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and in the region through confidence building and enhancing regional cooperation among 15 countries of the Heart of Asia Region.  The HoA-IP has become one of the most interactive voluntary state-groupings in the HoA Region.

It brings Afghanistan's immediate and extended neighbors as well as international supporters together through the following focus areas: 1) political consultations; 2) implementation of the CBMs; and 3) cooperation with regional organizations.