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Published On: Fri, Mar 9th, 2018

Uzbekistan set to host international conference on Afghanistan

nsnbc : Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has taken the initiative of organising a global conference on Afghanistan on March 26 and 27 in the Uzbek capital Tashkent. The conference will be held under the slogan “Peace process, Security Cooperation and Regional Connectivity”.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev (archives)

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev (archives)

For better or for worse, Uzbekistan has since the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and since the collapse of the Soviet Union been at the frontline with regards to the seemingly endless war(s) in Afghanistan. President Mirziyoyev said:

“Our country has been an active party to almost all international forums addressing the Afghan crisis, including the Kabul Process, the Moscow Format, the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, the International Contact Group on Afghanistan, the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA)”.

During a UN Security Council session in New York City on January 19, 2018, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan delivered a joint presentation of the forthcoming Tashkent forum. The Tashkent conference will take place almost a month after the second meeting of the Kabul Process.

President Mirziyoyev and President Ashraf Ghani will deliver keynote speeches at the opening ceremony of the conference. Among those invited to the Tashkent meeting are UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Special Representative of the Organisation for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It is expected that participants will convey the need for direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban without preconditions. According to a statement issued by the Uzbek foreign ministry, The Tashkent Declaration is anticipated to reflect the following key points:

  • The peace process ought to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and in accordance with the provisions of resolutions and decisions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
  • The guaranteed integration of the armed opposition into the political life of Afghanistan and its recognition as a legitimate political force is instrumental in the success of the peace process;
  • The international community strongly opposes all forms and manifestations of terrorism without any distinction, and recognizes that the threats of transnational terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime are common challenges to stability and sustainable development both for Afghanistan, the region and the world as a whole.

The activity of this format will contribute to Afghanistan’s successful integration into the system of trade, economic and infrastructural relations with the states of Central Asia, the effective implementation of projects and programs of regional scale.

CH/L – nsnbc 09.03.2018

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