New quad grouping
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 has for a long time been touted as a competitive advantage for the US.
- 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 and Road Initiative to Afghanistan.
- By virtue of its location, Afghanistan can provide China with a strategic base to spread its influence across the world.