U.S. Senior Administration Official today announced the details of the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s upcoming trip to Istanbul
“The trip is the culmination of several months of significant diplomacy which the U.S. has supported to help organize both Istanbul, which is going to be on Wednesday, obviously, and then the December 5th Bonn conference, with the goal of strengthening commitments by the region and the international community to Afghanistan beyond 2014.” -U.S. Senior Administration Official
The U.S. Senior Administration Official said as Afghanistan assumes lead responsibility for its own security, it’s critical that the international community remain engaged to ensure that the progress the U.S. government has all worked to achieve over the last 10 years is really preserved and has the momentum to continue.
“So Istanbul is seen as an opportunity for Afghanistan’s neighbors to reiterate their commitment to a stable, secure economically viable Afghanistan and to supporting Afghan-led reconciliation, the transition to Afghan security leadership, and then a shared regional economic vision.” – U.S. Senior Administration Official
The Senior Administration Official highlighted it’s a gathering of regional foreign ministers. The U.S. is actually there just as a supporter, which is critical.
“I think one of the things that makes this truly unique is that this is an organic effort by the region, and the 14 participants are the – this is the first time that they’ve ever met in this particular configuration.” – U.S. Senior Administration Official
The Senior Administration Official also reported that the event is being co-chaired by both Afghanistan and Turkey and regional partners like China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan – so all the “stans” – Pakistan, India, Iran, Russia, and then Saudi Arabia and the UAE from the Gulf.
Secretary Clinton’s Istanbul speech one year ago below: