Context: Recently India participated in the fourth meeting of the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan 2022 held in Moscow. The meeting saw participation from special envoys and senior officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
About Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan:
- The Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, launched in 2017, is a regional platform on Afghanistan involving the special envoys of Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, and Pakistan.
- Its mandate is to facilitate political reconciliation between the then-internationally backed Kabul government and the Taliban, establish peace, and ensure regional security.
- Moscow assumed the lead in this process based on its national concerns and interests in Afghanistan, most notably on two key issues.
- The first issue was centred around the potential threats due to the spread of instability, violence, and extremism in Afghanistan and the rest of Central Asia.
- The second was related to the growing inflow of Afghan heroin to the Russian market. Geopolitical interests related to Moscow’s opposition to any US or Western security presence in Central Asia undergirds Russia’s motives to lead such processes.
- April 2017 saw the first round of consultations with Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in attendance.
- Five years later, on November 16, 2022, all of these countries—minus Afghanistan—were invited.
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) The term “Levant” often heard in the news roughly corresponds to which of the following regions? (2022)
- Region along the eastern Mediterranean shores
- Region along North African shores stretching from Egypt to Morocco
- Region along Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa
- The entire coastal areas of Mediterranean Sea