On April 13, Samarkand hosted the 4th ministerial meeting of the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, which was attended by the foreign ministers of Uzbekistan, Iran, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister of the caretaker government of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi and Taliban officials.
The event was chaired by the Uzbek side.
“We, the closest neighbors of Afghanistan, are more interested than anyone else in the soonest stabilization of the situation in the country. Moreover, whether we like it or not, the main burden of responsibility for the revival of the Afghan economy and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people has fallen on our shoulders today,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov, opening the conference.
According to him, the world community should not be limited to providing the Afghan people with only humanitarian assistance - it is necessary to promote economic and infrastructure projects in the country, which will become the basis of the country's peaceful future.
The minister Saidov noted that the format of consultations of Afghanistan's neighboring countries was in demand and "contributed to the development of joint approaches and actions regarding the current situation in this country."
“The situation in Afghanistan remains difficult. We are deeply convinced that in the foreseeable future the situation in Afghanistan will still remain one of the key factors of regional and global security, affecting the interests of many states, primarily neighboring countries,” Bakhtiyor Saidov said.
He stressed that the world community expects the new authorities in Kabul to perform their obligations, primarily the creation of an inclusive government, respect for the rights of women and national minorities, and breaking ties with terrorist groups.
Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in his speech underscored that the Samarkand meeting "demonstrates our joint commitment to the stability, security and economic prosperity of our region."
“This testifies to the fact that we have a common future, and we must join forces to take full advantage of the opportunities related to stability and security and act responsibly to common threats. Afghanistan is ready for close and coordinated cooperation with the region,” he said.
He added that the Taliban hoped that the countries of the region would work together to create conditions for stability and economic prosperity in Afghanistan so that it could help Afghanistan play a constructive role.
“We are also ready to perform our obligations as a responsible government. Under no circumstances will we allow Afghanistan to be turned into an arena of negative clashes and illegitimate rivalry,” said Amir Khan Muttaqi.
Nearly two years after the inception of the current government, he said, "there has not been a single major security incident that has its roots in Afghanistan."
The states of the region, he noted, must remain vigilant so that their policy towards Afghanistan does not fall victim to the negative propaganda of the belligerent parties.
“Rather, Afghanistan should be viewed through the lens of regional security, stability and economic ties. Positive and decisive regional cooperation in the political sphere, security and economy can be useful for ensuring the interests of both Afghanistan and the entire region,” said Amir Khan Muttaqi.
During the forum, the parties discussed the current situation in Afghanistan, the implementation by the current authorities of this country of the key requirements of the world community - the creation of an inclusive government, ensuring Afghan women's access to work and education, and respect for the rights of national minorities.
The pointed to the necessity of developing a mechanism for joint actions aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and restoring the country's national economy and to the importance of strengthening the measures of the neighboring countries of Afghanistan in the fight against international terrorism, production and smuggling of drugs.