Home / Afghanistan / Uzbekistan Deals to Host Afghan Peace Talks
Uzbekistan Deals to Host Afghan Peace Talks

Uzbekistan Deals to Host Afghan Peace Talks

KABUL – Uzbekistan is ready to host the talks if Taliban are ready to directly talk with the Afghan government, Uzbek Foreign Minister said in a statement.
Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov made the offer during a visit to Afghanistan late last month, when he met President Ashraf Ghani.
Both Kabul and the Taliban appreciate Tashkent’s quiet diplomacy, but peace talks still seem a distant prospect.
Uzbekistan has renewed its offer to host peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban.
Uzbekistan suggested convening the meeting in the historic city of Samarkand.
“President Ghani also appreciated the readiness of Uzbekistan to host peace talks, saying that Samarkand is a common cultural heritage of the two countries,” the Presidential Palace said in a statement
Behind the scenes, Kamilov and other Uzbek diplomats have been engaged in a kind of shuttle diplomacy for months in a bid to push the Afghan peace process forward.
Tashkent first offered to host peace talks a year ago, and in July, the Foreign Ministry said it had held “constructive” conversations with senior Taliban figures.
Kamilov met the head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, Mullah Baradar Akhund, on 3 March this year for discussions on the peace process. Both the Taliban and Tashkent acknowledged the meeting, Anadolu says.
Taliban are active in several provinces along Afghanistan’s northern border with Central Asia, last month dealing Afghan government forces an embarrassing setback when they forced 100 troops to flee into Turkmenistan.
According to security analyst Umida Hashimova, the security threat aside, Uzbekistan also sees a negotiated peace in Afghanistan as a boon for its growing economic presence there.
Among other projects, the two countries are cooperating to increase Uzbek electricity supplies to Afghanistan and to build an extension of an existing railway link to Herat. Once finished, the railway will become the shortest route for Uzbek goods to reach a seaport, Hashimova added.
(Sahar News)

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