PRADEEP RANA /TASHKENT
The regional and global power will converge in Tashkent on 26-27 March and are expected to find ways to bring the war-torn Afghanistan to regional mainstream through peace initiatives and economic integration.
Hosted by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev jointly with the Afghan side, the high-level conference ‘Peace Process, Security Cooperation and Regional Connectivity’ is a part of the Uzbek leadership’s overall strategy to provide for regional security and stability in the Central Asia.
“Central Asia, being in the heart of Eurasia, stands as a bridge connecting Europe and the Middle East, South and East Asia,” President Mirziyoyev noted, adding the region has a unique cultural and civilisation potential, which has had a decisive influence on the development of many countries and entire regions.
Central Asia constitutes a crossing point of the interests of world powers, and the region adjoins the pivots of instability and conflict, experiencing the impact of all the downbeat processes occurring in the near and far abroad.
The President said everything depends on the willingness of the Central Asian states to assume responsibility for the common future of the region.
The conference is projected to result in the adoption of a three-pronged Tashkent Declaration comprising: the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process;
guaranteed integration of the armed opposition into the political life of Afghanistan; and an avowed opposition to all forms and manifestations of terrorism without any distinction by the international community.
This conference comes as a sequel to Samarkand Conference ‘Central Asia: One Past and a Common Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Mutual Prosperity’ where Mirziyoyev proposed a comprehensive program of joint efforts at the to secure enduring peace and stability in Central Asia, including Afghanistan.
Noting that Peace in Afghanistan is bedrock of stability and prosperity of Central Asia. Mirziyoyev said it is essential to refuse to divide the security threats into “our own and those of others” and stick to the principle of indivisibility of security.
Among those invited to the Tashkent meeting are the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Special Representative of the Organization for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto and foreign ministers several countries, including India.
Mirziyoyev said it was worth underscoring once again that the principal role and responsibility in this process belongs with the Afghans themselves, who must determine and build the future of their country.