Turkmenistan set to host 5th meeting of foreign ministers from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan is scheduled to host the fifth meeting of foreign ministers from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries next month.

During a visit to Ashgabat, Chinese Special Envoy for Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong met with Turkmenistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Kakabayevich Gurbanov. Yue stated that their discussion focused on enhancing joint efforts in aiding Afghanistan’s reconstruction. He also announced China’s support for Turkmenistan’s role in hosting the 2024 meeting.

Expected attendees include foreign ministers from China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Russia.

Political analysts have expressed concern over the contrasting interests of regional countries and the West. Rahmatullah Bizhanpor, an international relations analyst, noted that the meeting participants will primarily focus on Central Asia’s role in Afghanistan-related issues.

Since the Taliban’s rise to power, there has been a lack of collective consensus among the international community, driven by differing interests between regional and Western countries. “Unfortunately, there are divergent views between Western and Eastern forces on some matters related to Afghanistan,” said Omid Maisam, another international relations analyst.

Both regional countries and Western nations have expressed deep concerns over the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

Mohammad Akram Arifi, a university lecturer, highlighted the lack of a unified vision between Western and regional countries regarding Afghanistan. “There is a lack of necessary trust and contact, especially among powerful regional countries like Russia and China. This could lead Afghanistan into political competition and result in different paths that could harm the Afghan people,” he said.

Last year’s meeting, hosted by Uzbekistan, did not yield significant outcomes. However, the Afghan people hope that any initiative regarding their country will lead to an international consensus and help resolve Afghanistan’s issues.