The Talks in Islamabad and the Formation of a Security Belt in Southern Eurasia


Iran and Russia have created a committee for the realisation of joint projects in the areas of energy and railway industries. This was declared by the speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, after a two-day international conference in Islamabad dedicated to the battle against terrorism. 

Representatives from Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, Turkey, and Afghanistan took part in the conference. A delegation of deputies from the State Duma led by the speaker of the lower chamber of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, represented Russia.

The Great Game III

According to Larijani, he had the opportunity to talk with foreign colleagues in the corridors of power about economic questions. Moscow and Teheran’s projects were discussed, and a special committee was created to continue cooperation. The participants came to a single conclusion: coordination and shared investments are necessary in the fight against poverty in the region.  

In general, we can conclude that not just economics was discussed, but also the formation of a security belt in southern Eurasia. It is important that representatives from Afghanistan and Pakistan, for whom a ‘Great Game’ has been played from the 19th century onwards, met on common ground.

Slowly but steadily

Such events are a good demonstration of a real lessening of US influence in the Eurasian space in all areas, from security to economics. The day before, on the 22nd of December, talks were held in Astana, as a result of which Russia, Iran, and Turkey accepted a document about de-mining operations in Syria, which includes the clearing of world heritage sites. Thus, strategically important documents are being accepted without the participation of the White House. 

The rebalancing of power is taking shape slowly, but inevitably. What is more, if we take the new American security strategy into account, the US directly say that they will pressure Pakistan and that the DPRK and Iran (and Russia as well) are enemies and aggressors.

Afghanistan is waiting for change

Another event is important on this background: China has included Afghanistan in the Sino-Pakistani Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key element of the ‘one belt, one road’ project.  In such a way, Pakistan is also included in all-Eurasian integrational mechanisms.

On Thursday, Beijing was the setting for a trilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China, which was dedicated to the settling of disputes and the development of cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad.

“We have called upon the Taliban to take part in the peace process, and Pakistan has declared its support for peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government,” – reported the head of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi. “China will also support the Afghan peace process.”

This is taking place on the background of blasts in the southern part of Afghanistan, as a result of which no less than 6 employees of law enforcement agencies were killed, which is telling of the need to solve the conflict as quickly as possible. 
It is expected, that the next trilateral meeting will take place in February next year. In other words, China is continuing the game. It is possible that Beijing's participation will be more productive than American interference in ending of the conflict.
Apart from this, American influence isn’t the same as it has always been. In the summer, US president Donald Trump gave James Mattis permission to determine the amount of American troops in Afghanistan, because, as the head of the Pentagon put it, “The USA doesn’t lose.” Senator John McCain has said earlier that the Pentagon has no plan of action in the region.
“To this day we have no strategy in Afghanistan,” – Lamented McCain, - “It is difficult to support you if we don’t have a strategy.” 

Pakistan is also not happy with the Americans. Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif has already accused the US of attempting to draw Islamabad in foreign wars, also accusing NATO of mistakes in Afghanistan.
Thus, America is swiftly losing positions not just in the Middle East, but in southern Eurasia as well.