TASHKENT – Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Chief of Staff to President, Mohammad Shakir Kargar, and their accompanying delegation met with the Uzbek Foreign Minister, Abdulaziz Kamilov, to discuss the development of bilateral relations, lasting regional peace, economic cooperation, and Afghanistan’s position as regional connector.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar conveyed the Afghanistan President’s good wishes and gratitude to Foreign Minister Kamilov for the strong support of the Uzbek government and the people of Uzbekistan for the peace process and the preservation of democratic achievements within the framework of the republic. Mr. Atmar said: “The Government of Afghanistan is fully committed to its pledges in the peace process and seeks a solution that arises from the free will of the people and leads to lasting peace.”
Welcoming the Afghan delegation’s presence, the Uzbek Foreign Minister expressed his country’s firm support for the Afghan peace process and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s commitment to ending the war, securing the ceasefire, and preserving the achievements of the last two decades. Mr Kamilov added that Uzbekistan expects the Taliban to recognize democratic progress and fulfill their commitments to reduce violence, establish a ceasefire and reach a political solution. “To support peace in Afghanistan, we need a consolidated stance by countries in the region and the world,” Kamilov said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs praised the support of the region’s countries for ensuring peace and stability and thanked Uzbekistan for its effective role in the framework of regional structures, especially the P5 + 1. Mr. Atmar praised Uzbekistan’s hosting of the trilateral meeting to approve the roadmap for the Mazar-Kabul-Peshawar railway and expressed hope that work on the Mazar-Herat-Kandahar-Quetta railway begins soon.
Mr. Kamilov highlighted the holding of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral meeting to approve the Mazar-Kabul-Peshawar railway roadmap for economic development cooperation and the connection of Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan. In addition to that, the Uzbek Foreign Minister said a major regional conference entitled “Central Asia-South Asia: Connectivity, Opportunities and Challenges” with a focus on economic relations and cooperation will be held at the level of foreign ministers of the region and the world, in May. He added that “We want Afghanistan to play a pivotal role in this conference.”
Mr. Atmar called the mentioned grand conference a significant step in strengthening regional and global relations and announced the Government of Afghanistan’s full support in this regard. In the end, the two sides held comprehensive discussions on the expansion of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
In addition to the heads of the Afghan delegation, Kabir Isakhel, Senior Legal Advisor to Afghanistan President, Khalid Elmi, Afghan Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Barry Salaam, Senior Advisor to the Foreign Ministry, and Sultan Ahmad Bahin, Director General of 3rd Political Department of the Asian Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the meeting.