BAKU (Sputnik) — Azerbaijan has always played an important role in restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai said Friday in Baku at a session of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process regional conference.
"Azerbaijan plays a vital role in restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan. As one of the key countries in the Heart of Asia format of Istanbul Process and Afghanistan's close partner, Azerbaijan has supported this process and continues to play an essential role in efforts related to different spheres," Karzai said.
The deputy foreign minister expressed hope that the next session of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process conference, planned to take place at the level of foreign ministers in Baku soon, will have positive results in terms of restoring Afghanistan's infrastructure and further efforts concerning peacekeeping.
Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency. The instability has persisted in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
The lack of control and instability turned the country into home to the largest opium poppy production and distribution network in the world.