Representatives from India, China, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan are coming together today at Dushanbe, Tajikistan in a Regional Security Summit on Afghanistan. The summit will be held over the course of two days – May 26th and 27th, 2022. Afghanistan’s security, economy, governance, politics, and humanitarian situation is the agenda of this first Regional Summit that Tajikistan is hosting in 2022. This particular Regional Security Forum was initiated by Iran in 2018 and Dushanbe is holding the forth meeting of this forum. The first two meetings were held in Tehran in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and the third in New Delhi in November, 2021.
The meetings of the Regional Security Forum are attended by the National Security Advisors of the member states along with secretaries and other key representatives. Iran’s security chief, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, will be representing Iran in Dushanbe. On the sidelines of the summit, security advisers of the member states are expected to have bilateral talks and meetings as well. Pakistan’s presence is not confirmed yet since a National Security Adviser has not been appointed yet.
This Regional Security Summit is being criticized for not having any representative from Afghanistan on the table. How much the forum and its meetings are effective also remains a question. It has been nine months since the fall of Kabul and the emergence of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA). In these nine months, multiple regional level collaborations and meetings have been held with a focused agenda on Afghanistan. Just recently, in March, China hosted the 3rd meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors which was attended by the Foreign Ministers of the neighboring countries of Afghanistan.