According to Times of India, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar arrived in Dushanbe yesterday on a two-day official visit (March 30-31) to attend a key conference on Afghanistan, where representatives from around 50 countries and international organizations will discuss building regional consensus around the peace process in Afghanistan.

A statement released by the Ministry of external Affairs of India on March 26, during the visit, External Affairs Minister will have discussions with his counterpart covering all aspects of the bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.  He would call on President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. He is also expected to meet other Tajik Ministers and dignitaries.

Indian External Affairs Minister had earlier visited Dushanbe in June 2019 to attend the 5th Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.  This visit is in continuation of the frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries that will further strengthen the close strategic partnership between India and Tajikistan.

External Affairs Minister will attend the 9th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) on Afghanistan in Dushanbe on March 30, 2021 at the joint invitation of Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Tajikistan.  He is also expected to meet leaders of other participating countries on the sidelines.

As the lead country for Trade, Commerce and Investment Confidence Building Measure (CBM) under HoA-IP, India has made concerted efforts for strengthening regional connectivity for the greater economic integration of Afghanistan with the region, according to the statement.  A dedicated Air Freight Corridor between cities of India and Afghanistan and operationalization of Chabahar Port in Iran are reportedly steps in that direction.

India, as an important stakeholder for peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan, has played a constructive role in the international processes on Afghanistan.  India has engaged regional and international stakeholders on Afghanistan.  This visit would further enhance our outreach to Central Asian countries with a special focus on Afghanistan.