Istanbul hosts trilateral meeting between Uzbekistan, the USA and Afghanistan
The trilateral meeting of the heads of Uzbekistan, the USA and Afghanistan delegations took place within the framework of the eighth ministerial conference of the forum “Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process”.
At the meeting, Uzbekistan was represented by the Special Representative of the President for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev, USA – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells and Afghanistan – Acting and Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Idrees Zaman.
At the meeting, the parties discussed issues of expanding trade between the Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, cooperation in promoting the socio-economic development of Afghanistan, as well as involving the IRA in the regional integration process.
The American and Afghan sides praised the steps taken by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to assist the Government of Afghanistan and the international community in advancing the peace political process, restoring the country’s socio-economic infrastructure and integrating the IRA into the Central Asian region.
The parties agreed to give regularity to tripartite consultations in order to discuss ways of cooperation for further deepening Uzbekistan – Afghanistan relations, as well as considering possibilities for material and technical stimulation of specific projects in the process of this cooperation.
The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process is a regional initiative of Turkey and Afghanistan, which was launched in 2011. It has two chairs with Afghanistan as the permanent chair, and a co-chair from among the member states that shifts each year.
The day-long event was attended by the foreign ministers and high-ranking representatives of 15 participating countries, 16 supporting
countries and 12 supporting regional and international organizations. The members of the process are Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkey.
The declaration also acknowledged the recent gains by the Afghan security forces in eastern Nangarhar province against ISIL, where hundreds of its terrorists were disarmed and its base destroyed and dismantled.
It also called on all the concerned parties to work ensuring direct peace talks for a political settlement and lasting peace in Afghanistan.
By Sher Karimov