President Ilham Aliyev attends "Heart of Asia"-Istanbul Process 7th Ministerial Conference in Baku VIDEO

Baku, December 1, AZERTAC

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is attending the "Heart of Asia" – Istanbul Process (HoA IP) 7th Ministerial Conference under the motto "Security and Economic Connectivity towards a Strengthened Heart of Asia Region" in Baku.

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is also attending the conference.

The Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani declared the conference open and thanked the government of Azerbaijan for the hospitality.

The head of state made a speech at the event.

President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the ongoing development processes in Azerbaijan, the country's international cooperation, the economic projects implemented in Azerbaijan, and noted the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Azerbaijan's involvement in peacekeeping operations, and the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The head of state also provided an insight into the anti-corruption measures in Azerbaijan, the establishment of "ASAN service" centers and their provision of transparent services to the population.

President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani then addressed the conference. He hailed the Azerbaijani peacekeepers' contribution towards ensuring his country's security.

President Ashraf Ghani praised the economic development of Azerbaijan, the growth of the gross domestic product, and the implementation of sustainable reforms in the country. The Afghan President thanked the leaders and people of the countries who supported the "Heart of Asia" - Istanbul Process. The Afghan head of state pointed out the work done by Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism and the steps taken towards ensuring the country`s development. He said terrorism is a threat to international peace and security. "Unfortunately, some countries support terrorism. Combating terrorism also contributes to addressing regional problems".

HoA-IP is an important regional platform for political dialogue and close regional cooperation aimed at promoting stability, peace and prosperity in the Heart of Asia region, and for enhancing Afghanistan's connectivity with the entire region.

HoA-IP participating states include the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, People's Republic of China, Republic of India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Russian Federation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Nations. The process is also supported by a wide range of other countries and international and regional organizations. Having strong intention to contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity and the traditional bonds of friendship with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan joined HoA-IP in 2012.

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