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At the ministerial meeting of Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan ways of further interaction to resolve the “Afghan issue” were discussed

The 3rd Ministerial Conference of Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan was held in Huangshan city (PRC) on 30-31 March and attended by government members and foreign ministers from Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The conference also included a meeting of foreign ministers from neighbours of Afghanistan with the delegation of the Afghan Interim Government headed by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in presence of foreign ministers of Indonesia and Qatar.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov represented the Republic of Uzbekistan at these events.

Issues of multilateral cooperation in stabilizing the social and economic situation in Afghanistan in the post-conflict period were discussed at the conference. Views were exchanged on the most effective approaches to supporting Afghanistan in addressing domestic and external challenges. In this regard, the efforts of the country’s Interim Government were noted.

The parties stressed the importance of consolidating efforts of countries of the region for a peaceful solution to the Afghan crisis, accelerating the formation of an inclusive government based on broad representation of all ethnic and political groups as well as ensuring human rights, including those of women and ethnic minorities. Emphasis was placed on the importance that the Afghan Interim Government must fulfil its commitments not to allow terrorist organizations to operate in the country and prevent any threats from Afghanistan to its neighbours, as well as other requirements of the international community.

Addressing the conference, S.Umurzakov underlined the need to strengthen coordination of regional cooperation aimed at supporting Afghanistan in overcoming the current challenges, revitalizing the national economy, resolving social issues and normalizing life in the country. It was proposed to work out a mechanism and criterium for international recognition of the Interim Government of Afghanistan, which will speed up the integration of the country into the regional area and international communities.

The Uzbek side expressed commitment to continue cooperation with countries of the region, partner nations and Afghanistan in all priority areas, including the implementation of major infrastructure projects that can accelerate economic rehabilitation and improve the living standards of the Afghan people.

Following the conference, the parties adopted a joint declaration and the Tunxi Initiative for supporting the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

On the sidelines of events, S.Umurzakov also held a number of bilateral meetings and negotiations with foreign counterparts. In particular, he discussed bilateral cooperation with Wang Yi, State Councilor, member of the Leading CPC Members Group of the State Council, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Amir Khan Muttaqi, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. During the meetings, the sides discussed the current state of affairs and identified further steps to deepen bilateral cooperation in priority areas.