On Monday, Iranian news agencies reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif flew to Tajikistan to attend the “Heart of Asia” summit. It was also stated that Zarif would hold other bilateral talks with his counterparts from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Azerbaijan, before the ministerial meeting to be held on March 30. The Iranian FM also plans to come together with senior Tajik officials during his visit.
In a statement issued on the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website, Zarif expressed his appreciation for being in Tajikistan, which is a friendly and neighboring country. Zarif also highlighted the importance of the meeting in terms of creating a medium that would bring peace to Afghanistan. Emphasizing the long-lasting relations between Iran and Tajikistan, Iranian FM also uttered his hopes that his visit to Tajikistan would contribute to improve bilateral relations and boost the cooperation between the two countries in every possible field.
The “Heart of Asia” is a regional initiative led by Turkey and Afghanistan, aiming to promote regional security, economic and political cooperation centered on Afghanistan. The first meeting was held in Istanbul in 2011 with the participation of foreign ministers from 14 different countries, including China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Pakistan.
Speaking upon his arrival in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, Minister Zarif reiterated his country’s willingness to help the process, which would establish ultimate peace and put an end to hostilities in Afghanistan.