19 July 2021

US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan to form 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 parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing.

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.

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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