President Hamid Karzai on Sunday left for China to participate in a Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia (CICA), to be held in Shanghai, his office said.
The international forum seeks to strengthen cooperation in building peace, security and stability in Asia. China has been chosen as CICA president for the period from 2014 to 2016.
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev floated the CICA idea at the 47th UN General Assembly on October 5, 1992 to enhance regional security cooperation.
In 2002, CICA held its first summit, with the impetus coming from the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the US. Thus, counterterrorism became an important issue for CICA.
The 2014 summit will likely bring together leaders from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, UAE, Iraq, Bahrain, Turkey, Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
Accompanied by his Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani, Chief of Staff Abdul Karim Khurram and spokesman Aimal Faizi, President Karzai will meet his Chinese counterpart and other leaders during the four-day visit.
Slated for May 20-21, the event will highlight the close link between peace and stability in Asia and the rest of the world and the need for combating illicit drug production and trafficking, besides promoting trade and economic cooperation.