• World
  • Jul 19

US, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan to form quad group

• The US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity, the Biden administration has said.

• The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing.

• Recognising the historic opportunity to open flourishing interregional trade routes, the parties intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links, and strengthen business-to-business ties.

• The parties agreed to meet in the coming months to determine the modalities of this cooperation with mutual consensus.

Afghanistan’s strategic location

• Afghanistan’s strategic location has for a long time been touted as a competitive advantage for the country.

• Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the northeast.

• Located at the heart of the historic Silk Road, Afghanistan was long the crossroads of commerce between Asian countries connecting them to Europe, and enhancing religious, cultural, and commercial contacts.

• The formation of the new quad group is important amid China’s desire to extend its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to Afghanistan.

• The BRI, a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013, aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.

• By virtue of its location, Afghanistan can provide China with a strategic base to spread its influence across the world.

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