Uzbekistan delegation led by Special Representative of the President for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev attended SCO – Afghanistan contact group meeting, in Bishkek.
Representatives of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states together with delegation of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani exchanged views on the situation in the IRA. The parties discussed proposals for strengthening cooperation in SCO – Afghanistan format.
In his speech, the head of Uzbekistan delegation noted that Uzbekistan welcomes and supports the intensification of international efforts to resolve conflict in Afghanistan.
“We remain committed to fundamental principle that political process in Afghanistan should be carried out only by the Afghans themselves and under the leadership of Afghanistan people, – says Ismatulla Irgashev. – In reaching agreements between the warring parties, it is important to preserve state institutions in such important areas as law enforcement, ensuring further development of civil society, respect for women's rights and others”.
It was noted that along with efforts for political reconciliation of parties, Uzbekistan is also investing in economic future, social stability of Afghanistan and younger generation of Afghans. Joint implementation of major projects in Afghanistan in transport and logistics, energy, trade and education has been launched. The construction of Surkhan – Puli-Khumri power transmission line by Uzbekistan, opening of an Educational Center for Training Afghan citizens in Termez and Logistics Center with Termez-Cargo Customs Terminal, development of a project for construction of Mazari-Sharif – Herat railway line are among them.
Uzbekistan also closely cooperates with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Russia on another important project for Afghan people – the construction of Mazari-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway line. It will link Central and South Asia and promote closer economic contact between various countries, including, SCO member States.
In addition, the Ministerial meeting of the eighth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan – VIII RECCA is planned to be held in Tashkent this year.
Confidence was expressed that the SCO – Afghanistan contact group would contribute to establishment of a lasting peace in Afghanistan.
During the stay in Bishkek, Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev held bilateral meetings with heads of delegations attending the SCO – Afghanistan Contact group meeting, the Special Representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry for External Security Cheng Guoping, Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India Gitesh Sarma.
Issues of cooperation within the framework of launching the inter-Afghan peace process and implementation of infrastructure, socio-economic projects in Afghanistan were discussed.