On March 27, Tashkent hosted International Conference on Afghanistan “Peace process, security cooperation and regional connectivity”.
The conference, organized on the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, aroused great interest among the world community. The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the heads of ministries of foreign affairs of China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the USA, representatives of 25 countries and international organizations arrived in Uzbekistan to participate in this event.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed the international conference.
The Head of the state noted that this conference is a joint initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It is a logical continuation of the efforts to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan made by the international community.
As President noted, in essence, «the flame of war» was imposed to the Afghan people from outside. It is not their choice. For over these years hundreds of thousands of peaceful citizens became victims of the confrontation while millions of people had to flee their homes and seek shelter in other countries.
Confrontations and conflicts in this country have a negative impact on the active processes of integration of Central Asian countries into the world economy. For example, peaceful Afghanistan due to trade and economic, transport and logistics opportunities across the sea would provide Uzbekistan with the shortest exit to other regions.
Uzbekistan participated in international and regional conferences of various formats devoted to the resolution of the Afghan conflict, held in 2017, including the Moscow expanded meeting (April), the Kabul Process (June), the Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation on the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Ashgabat, November), the Istanbul process – “The heart of Asia” (Baku, November-December) and the meeting of the International Contact Group (Oslo, December).
At the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Uzbekistan outlined the country’s position on stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan, expressed concrete proposals on this matter. At the international conference “Central Asia: one past and common future, cooperation for sustainable development and mutual prosperity”, held in Samarkand in November under the auspices of the United Nations, initiatives were forwarded regarding the integration of Afghanistan into regional economic processes.
During the high-level meetings of the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, the positive position of Uzbekistan in this direction has been further strengthened through mutually beneficial agreements.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani noted that the initiative of Uzbekistan on ensuring peace and security in Afghanistan is very valuable.
At the conference, the heads of the foreign ministries of the Central Asian countries expressed their readiness to use all opportunities in this direction.
NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General John Manza, British Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Gareth Bayley, Special Representative of Italy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alberto Pieri, Special Representative of the Government of Germany for Afghanistan and Pakistan Markus Potzel, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar for Combating Terrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Mutlaq bin Majid Al-Qahtani, Special Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Hiroshi Takahashi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to Uzbekistan Violen Biyet de Vilmore, director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Yevgeniy Sysoyev, Special Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway for Afghanistan and Pakistan Rolf Willy Hansen and others also delivered speeches at the international conference.
Proposals and initiatives have been forwarded on establishing peace in Afghanistan, restoration of socio-economic structure of this country, fully promoting its integration into regional economic processes.
Following the conference, its participants signed the Tashkent Declaration. This document reflects such good goals as ensuring peace and security in the region, strengthening cooperation in all spheres, further expanding relations of good-neighborliness.
At the press conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani reported on the results achieved at the conference.
It was noted that the Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan has become a very important contribution to the efforts of the international community on ensuring peaceful development of Afghanistan. Similar events will continue in the future.
Salahuddin Rabbani expressed his special gratitude to the President of Uzbekistan for initiating conduction of the Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan and its organization, to the government and people of Uzbekistan.