The 6th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) concluded on 4 December 2016 after adopting the Amritsar Declaration. The declaration recognised terrorism as the biggest threat to peace and demands an immediate end to all forms of terrorism.
The Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference held in Amritsar was co-chaired by Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister and Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It saw the participation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high-level representatives of the participating and supporting countries.
The Sixth Ministerial Conference was inaugurated by Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
Highlights of the Amritsar Declaration
Menace of Drug
Connectivity and economic cooperation
Besides, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to the principles, objectives, and outcomes enshrined in the Declarations of previous five Conferences that have defined the ideals for the working of the HoA-IP aimed at promoting regional peace and prosperity. The previous five Ministerial Conferences were held in Istanbul (2011), Kabul (2012), Almaty (2013), Beijing (2014), and Islamabad (2015).
The declaration reaffirmed that importance of the HOA-IP as an important regional platform for political dialogue and close regional cooperation. It would help in promoting stability, peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and Heart of Asia region. It will also help in enhancing Afghanistan’s connectivity with the entire region.
The declaration calls to resolve the difference in a peaceful manner and refraining threat or force against the political independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of any state.
The Amritsar Declaration was adopted by the Foreign Ministers and the Foreign Ministers and high-level representatives of the participating countries of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process. The participating nations of the conference were India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Nations.
Besides, Azerbaijan displayed its willingness to host the seventh Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in 2017.
Countries that supported the declaration of the conference: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Arab Egypt, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Poland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States.
International and regional organisations that supported the declaration of the conference: Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Economic Cooperation Organizations (ECO), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Collective Security Treaty Organizations (CSTO), and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).