Parties spoke in favor of implementation of infrastructure, socio-economic projects in Afghanistan with participation of neighboring states, says Uzbek Foreign Ministry
The 4th ministerial meeting of countries neighboring Afghanistan on Thursday in the Uzbek city of Samarkand emphasized the need to develop a joint action mechanism to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and restore the country’s economy.
“During the forum, the parties discussed the existing condition in Afghanistan, the implementation of the main demands of the world community by the current authorities of Afghanistan, such as the creation of an inclusive government, the opportunity for Afghan women to work and receive education, and ensuring the rights of national minorities,” a statement by the Uzbek Foreign Ministry read.
The statement said the foreign ministers of Uzbekistan, who chaired the meeting, as well as China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, underlined the importance of “strengthening the measures of the countries-neighbors of Afghanistan in the fight against international terrorism, production, and smuggling of drugs.”
It also said they noted the importance of promoting the potential of Afghanistan as a “key factor” in interregional connectivity between Central and South Asia.
“In this context, the parties spoke in favor of the implementation of infrastructure and socio-economic projects in the territory of Afghanistan with the participation of neighboring states, which will contribute not only to the creation of new jobs but also to a more active integration of Afghanistan into regional economic processes,” the statement further noted.
The Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan mechanism was established in 2021 on Pakistan’s initiative with a view to evolving a regional approach to the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan hosted the first meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Neighboring Countries on Sept. 8, 2021, and participated in the second meeting held in Tehran, Iran in November 2021, and the third meeting held in Tunxi, China, in March 2022.