During his three-day visit to Tajikistan, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will attend the 9th ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference, which is a part of the Istanbul  Peace Process on Afganistan in Dushanbe on Tuesday.  Jaishankar will attend the ministerial meeting which is being hosted in Tajikistan, at the joint invitation of his counterparts Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The conference is a joint initiative of the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Afghanistan and was officially launched in 2011 at a conference that was being hosted by Turkey.

The conference is aimed towards strengthening a regional and international consensus for Afghan peace. According to a statement on March 26th issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, S. Jaishnakar is expected to meet key leaders of other countries that are participating in the conference on the sidelines. However, the highly anticipated meeting which was going to happen between S Jaishnankar and the foreign minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood has not yet been scheduled officially so far.

Jaishankar met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday and held a discussion on the Afghan Peace Process. He tweeted saying that the two leaders shared their perspectives on the peace process. Last week, the Afghan Foreign Minister visited  India and conducted numerous meetings with Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval.

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A statement issued by the MeA underlined that both the nations reviewed the ‘Troika Peace Meeting’ in Moscow and further assessed the final declaration of the meeting as positive for strengthening and advancing the peace initiative.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is also going to attend the Heart of Asia conference which had earlier sparked speculations of a meeting between the two ministers in the backdrop of recent developments on the borders. There has been no official announcement of the meeting and it has not been finalized yet.

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