A delegation of Uzbekistan takes part in the meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 19 April 2019, a delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan led by the Special Representative of the President for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev participated in the meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Representatives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, together with the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, led by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan. The parties discussed proposals to strengthen cooperation in the SCO-Afghanistan format.
In his speech, the head of the Uzbek delegation stressed that Uzbekistan welcomes and supports the intensification of international efforts to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.
“We remain committed to the fundamental principle - the political process in Afghanistan should be carried out only by the Afghans themselves and under the leadership of the Afghan people,” said Ismatulla Irgashev. “When reaching agreement between the warring parties, it is important to preserve state institutions in such important areas as law enforcement, ensuring the further development of civil society, respect for the rights of women and others.”
It was noted that along with political reconciliation efforts of the parties, Uzbekistan also invests in the economic future, the social stability of Afghanistan and the younger generation of Afghans. The joint implementation of large projects in Afghanistan in the fields of transport and logistics, energy, trade and education has begun. These include the construction of a Surkhan-Puli-Khumri transmission line by Uzbekistan, the opening of an educational center for training Afghan citizens in Termez and a logistics center with the Termez-Kargo customs terminal, the development of a project to build the Mazar-e Sharif-Herat railway.
Uzbekistan also closely cooperates with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Russia in the implementation of another important project for the Afghan people - the construction of the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway. It will connect Central and South Asia, will promote closer economic contact between various states, including the SCO member states.
In addition, this year, a ministerial meeting of the Eighth Conference of Regional Economic Cooperation on Afghanistan - VIII RECCA is planned to be held in Tashkent.
Confidence was expressed that the SCO - Afghanistan Contact Group would contribute to the establishment of a lasting peace in Afghanistan.
As part of his stay in Bishkek, Ismatulla Irgashev, the Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan, held bilateral meetings with the heads of delegations participating in the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group meeting, with Foreign Ministry Special Representative of the PRC Cheng Guoping, Deputy Foreign Minister of India Giteshem Sharma.
Issues of cooperation within the launch of the inter-Afghan peace process and the implementation of infrastructure, social and economic projects in Afghanistan were discussed.