2019-11-29 › Turkmenistan hosts Istanbul Process Regional Infrastructure working groups preparatory meeting supported by OSCE
Promoting economic connectivity through regional stabilitywas the focus of an OSCE-supported preparatory meeting of the Regional Technical Groups (RTG) of the Regional Infrastructure: Confidence Building (RI-CBM) Measures held on 29 November 2019. The event was organized within the framework of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan.
The meeting brought together experts from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and a number of the participating countries of the Istanbul Process as well as representatives from regional and international organizations. The preparatory meeting was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan with support from the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.
The participants reviewed the progress of the existing projects implemented by other multilateral organizations that facilitate regional economic connectivity. They discussed multilateral funding mechanisms and the dependence of trade facilitation on the development of physical infrastructure and regulatory framework.
Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, addressed the participants of the preparatory meeting: “It is symbolic that this event is held ahead of a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Istanbul Process participating countries on 9 December which will discuss the ways to resolve issues pertaining to our primary goal – establishing lasting peace and ensuring sustainable development in Afghanistan.”
“It is our strong belief that infrastructure projects are key factors in promoting security and stability in Afghanistan and we are confident that today’s meeting will make a positive contribution to the enhancement of our co-operation within support for the strengthening of security and economic progress in Afghanistan.”
The OSCE, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), and the Asian Development Bank (ABD) presented their activities covering the region and involving Afghanistan in their projects on economic connectivity.
“The OSCE considers regional co-operation to be a powerful mechanism leading to stability and economic prosperity and commends the active role of Turkmenistan as a regional actor and contributor to the regional stability,” said Natalya Drozd, Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.
“It is our firm belief that today’s meeting will provide an efficient platform for the exchange of ideas among multilateral organizations on how to better streamline their efforts for the benefit of the RI-CBM and will foster action towards building confidence among the stakeholder countries of the infrastructure projects
The Istanbul Process was created as a platform for regional dialogue and co-operation to encourage security, political, and economic stability between Afghanistan and its neighbors. The regional technical groups for the RI-CBM within the Istanbul Process are currently co-chaired by Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
The event was organized as part of an extra-budgetary project of the OSCE Centre funded by the United Kingdom.