New Delhi: Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, will not be able to attend the Heart of Asia Conference scheduled to be held in New Delhi at 11 am at the south block in central Delhi. The doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have advised rest to her.
General VK Singh, Minister of State of External Affairs, is expected to replace Sushma Swaraj, who was admitted to AIIMS on Monday evening after she complained of chest congestion and respiratory issues.
The conference is being held with the objective of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and speeding up its reconstruction with a focus on enhancing investment and connectivity to the country.
The conference will be attended by officials of a number of countries including Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who is likely to deliberate on a host of issues like combating challenge of extremism and terrorism.
The key elements of HoA process have been to devise a sustained, incremental approach to implementation of the confidence building measures (CBM) in Afghanistan and the officials are set to deliberate on them during the conference.
Energy, infrastructure and investment deals to shore up economic growth of Afghanistan may figure in the talks.
India hosted the senior officials meeting of the Istanbul process in January 2014 in New Delhi and is set to host the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the HoA Process in the last quarter of this year.
The 14 participating countries in HoA process are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and UAE. The supporting countries include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, U.K., U.S. and the E.U.
(With agency inputs)