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Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan to be held in late March

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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says neither Afghanistan government nor Uzbek officials have invited Taliban for participation in Tashkent Conference. Previously, Uzbek foreign affairs ministry in a statement had said Taliban would likely not participate in the Tashkent Conference.

The conference is determined to be held on 26 – 27th of March in Tashkent, capital city of Uzbekistan.
“Only representatives from various countries of the region and world have been invited for participation in Tashkent Conference and it is determined that mechanism and modality of Afghanistan peace talks will be discussed,” said ShekibMustaghni, a spokesperson to ministry of foreign affairs.
He added that the conference would be opened by presidents of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
“Besides ministers of foreign affairs of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, senior representatives and diplomats from Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Britain, Germany, USA, UN and EU are to participate in Tashkent Conference,” the MFA spokesperson said.
Deputy minister of foreign affairs Hekmat Khalil Karzai has recently said that relations between Kabul and Tashkent have improved and expanded unprecedentedly comparing to past years, adding that the relations in various fields were significant for both Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan, which is one of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in the north, is considered as a significant country for our trade and transit. We can expand our trade with Kazakhstan, China and Russia via Uzbekistan. Afghanistan and Uzbekistan have 137km common border separated by Amu River.
Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) considered holding such meetings as key to reach peace in the country, saying that maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan needed full support of the international community and countries in the region.
“Increasing insecurities in Afghanistan have also raised concern of Central Asian countries that have started efforts for maintaining peace in Afghanistan in order to prevent from insecurities in Central Asia; therefore, the conference in Tashkent will be effective and key for peace in the country,” said AzizullahDeen Mohammad, deputy of HPC.
In consideration to importance of the Central Asian countries for Afghanistan and on the threshold of holding Tashkent Conference, the Taliban group has shown no inclination for Afghan-led peace talks so far.
Previously, armed Taliban had rejected the Afghan-led peace talks with the government and by sending a letter asked for dialogue with US administration. Nevertheless, US Department for Secretary of State in response to Taliban letter said the only side of negotiation with Taliban was the Afghan government not the US.
It is determine that participants in Tashkent Conference will ask for holding peace talks between Afghanistan government and the Taliban group that has repeatedly rejected such peace talks in the past.   Peace and stability won’t be maintained in Afghanistan unless the world and regional countries cooperate honestly with Afghanistan government in maintaining peace and cut financial resources of terrorists.