The US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity,
GS-II: International Relations (Important International Groupings, Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)
Dimensions of the Article:
- About the new US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan Quad
- Significance of the new quad grouping
- How will this impact China’s BRI initiative?
About the new US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan Quad
- The US State Department announced the setting up of the new diplomatic platform on July 2021 to help strengthen economic connectivity across the region.
- The department announced that representatives from Washington, Kabul, Islamabad, and Tashkent had agreed, in principle, to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity.
- All four nations- the US, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links and strengthen business-to-business ties, recognising the historic opportunity to open flourishing interregional trade routes.
- The representatives from the four nations will be meeting in the coming months to determine the modalities of the cooperation with mutual consensus.
- The new diplomatic platform will work to expand trade, build transit links and strengthen business-to-business ties.
Significance of the new quad grouping
- Afghanistan is bordered by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, Pakistan towards the east and south, Iran to the west and China to the northeast – The land-locked nation’s location has for a long time been seen as a competitive advantage for the country.
- Afghanistan has since long been the crossroads of commerce between Asian countries by connecting them to Europe and enhancing religious, cultural and commercial contacts.
- The new ‘quad’ group appears to be a means for the United States to retain its foothold in the region after it completes its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
- However, ever since the US has begun withdrawing its troops, violence has been rising and efforts to broker a peace agreement between the Afghan government and Taliban have slowed down.
How will this impact China’s BRI initiative?
- The new quad group’s formation is significant as it comes amid China’s efforts to extend its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to Afghanistan.
- The Belt Road Initiative was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013.
- The Belt Road Initiative aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.
- Afghanistan due to its strategic location can provide China with a strategic base to spread its influence across the world.
- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had visited Uzbekistan in the past week for an official two-day visit during which he highlighted the benefits of regional connectivity and invited the nation to become party to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
-Source: The Hindu