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 Regional Cooperation

The UN Secretary General's report to the Security Council released on 9 Spetember 2014 provides an update of UNAMA activities, including in the area of regional cooperation, since 18 June 2013, listed below. For a full copy of the latest report, click here

C. Regional cooperation

28. Afghanistan continued to engage its neighbours in the promotion of regional cooperation, with particular focus on engagement with Pakistan on security issues. On 25 June, the adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, addressed the Foreign Relations Committee of the Pakistan Senate and pledged to develop a joint strategy with the new Government of Afghanistan to fight extremism and terrorism, to ensure that the respective territories were not used for attacks or subversion against each other, and to expand cooperation in other matters. On 26 June, the National Security Adviser of Afghanistan, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, led a delegation of senior officials to Islamabad for talks with Pakistani counterparts on anti-terror cooperation and the role of Pakistan in Afghan peace efforts. Both sides agreed to establish a high-level joint working group on security.

29. Tensions continued along the frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with reciprocal allegations of support and sanctuary for insurgent groups linked to attacks on each other’s territory. On 4 August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan claimed there was evidence of Pakistan’s continuing support for terrorism in Afghanistan, and lodged a protest against incursions from Pakistan and cross-border rocket attacks in Kunar Province in the eastern part of the country. Pakistani authorities denied being involved in such acts. The same day, Pakistani authorities reissued a call for Afghanistan to hand over the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Mullah Fazlullah, alleging that he was hiding in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan.

30. On 2 July, in Kabul, President Karzai met with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs, Ebrahim Rahimpour, to discuss how to develop bilateral relationships in all fields. On 8 July, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Turkmenistan signed the operational plan for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

31. On 10 July, the latest Senior Officials Meeting of the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan was held in Beijing co-chaired by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Ershad Ahmadi, and the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, Liu Zhenmin. There was broad participation, including representatives of 12 Governments. The meeting provided an opportunity for participants to make additional comments on the draft declaration for the fourth Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process, and presentations were made on the progress achieved in the six confidence-building measures.

32. On 24 July, the new special envoy of China for Afghanistan visited Kabul for talks on his country’s increased economic engagement and potential role in the peace process. On 27 July it was announced that the fourth Ministerial Conference, owing to have been held in Tianjin on 29 August, had been postponed due to the prolonged electoral process in Afghanistan. A new date has yet to be determined.

33. My Special Representative visited Tehran on 16 and 17 August and Islamabad on 27 August, meeting with senior government officials. There was consensus in both capitals that the stability of Afghanistan was in the shared interest of the region, and expressions of support for a government of national unity based on partnership were made. A broadly accepted electoral outcome was seen as a priority, with support for measures to enhance the credibility of the process.