Regional security is a top priority for Central Asian countries

Regional security is a top priority for Central Asian countries. Settlement of the Afghan conflict is the main factor of strengthening stability in the region. Uzbekistan is ready to provide a platform for direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement. Kazakhstan in its turn also pays a special attention to this issue. For example, Kazakhstan led the ministerial-level debates in the UN Security Council that focused on Afghanistan.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER:

- We held a ministerial-level conference at the UN Security Council where we presented Central Asia as a model of peace, security, cooperation and sustainable development. Kazakhstan provided and continues providing practical assistance to Afghanistan. For instance, there is an educational program worth 50 million U.S. dollars for a thousand of Afghan students. There are many girls and women among them who study in the leading educational institutions of Kazakhstan. Today, we came to an agreement with the European Union on their involvement in implementation of this program and their co-financing.

Delegates from twenty countries further discussed these issues at the Tashkent conference. According to the Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, the international community has the special confidence in the event and is ready to provide support in all areas. Federica Mogherini also noted that the European Commission could provide assistance from diplomatic point of view to exclude those who fall under the sanctions. The European Commission is also ready to work with people who laid down their weapons so that their families could reintegrate, the Vice President of the European Commission said.  

The conference participants adopted the Tashkent declaration that is based on the results on the meeting. Politicians and international community members urged all the involved parties to hold peaceful negotiations.

ABDULAZIZ KAMILOV, UZBEK FOREIGN MINISTER:

 - The declaration not only covers the situation in Afghanistan but also specifies the ways of settling the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. The declaration’s core proposal is focused on starting a direct political dialogue without any preconditions between the central government and the opposition, particularly the Taliban movement.

This fall, a special conference on ensuring the rights of Afghan women will be organized jointly with international organizations. The initiative was supported by the United Nations.