Foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries meet at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan today. Delegations from
Foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries meet at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan today.
Delegations from Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran, as well as Central Asian counterparts from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, will be present. Discussions will center on the fragile security, humanitarian and socio-economic environment in Afghanistan. Neighbors are particularly concerned about the serious security situation in northern and eastern Afghanistan.
Since their return to power in 2021, the Taliban have struggled to contain the urban terror campaign of the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK) – the official Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan. ISK regularly conducts terrorist activities against minority groups near the Tajik-Uzbek border. Suicide attacks on Chinese and Russian assets in Kabul are also used to deprive the Taliban of foreign economic resources.
Expect participants to work towards increasing coordination of anti-terror efforts. Tajikistan will likely use the conference to push for a security belt around Afghanistan to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks spreading. Efforts to strengthen intelligence cooperation and Afghanistan’s counterterrorism capabilities will also be proposed. So long as China is involved, this multilateral initiative will have a strong chance of preventing ISK from forming a regional Islamic caliphate.