On October 6, a virtual conference of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Research Group on South Asia and Afghanistan was organized with the support of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London.
The dialogue was dedicated to the issues of promoting intra-Afghan peace talks, strengthening trans-regional interconnection between the Central and South Asian countries, as well as strengthening Uzbekistan – British cooperation in the Afghan direction. Foreign policy specialists and leading experts from research centers of Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom took part in the event.
The British side was represented by scientists and researchers from such influential think tanks as Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute, and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre of the University of Oxford.
Uzbekistan expert community included leading analysts from the Information and Analytical Center for International Relations, the University of World Economy and Diplomacy under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, and Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies.
Addressing the conference, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom S. Rustamov emphasized that the establishment of peace in Afghanistan is an important condition for ensuring stability and sustainable development in Central Asia. Uzbekistan has established strong ties with all countries involved in the resolution of the Afghan problem, including with the United Kingdom. A dialogue is carried out on a regular basis between the foreign agencies, special envoys for Afghanistan and the analytical structures of the two countries.
In turn, the ISRS First Deputy Director A. Nematov noted that the regular meetings of Uzbekistan and British experts on the political settlement of the Afghan conflict testify to the parties’ firm commitment to achieving long-term and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and mutual willingness to cooperate in this direction.
A. Nematov emphasized that the launch of direct talks between the government of the IRA and the Taliban Movement provides a historic chance to put an end to the long-term war in Afghanistan. In this regard, the importance was noted for comprehensive support for national, regional and international consensus regarding the observance of the key political principles of peacebuilding in Afghanistan, enshrined in the Tashkent Declaration, adopted following the high-level international conference in March 2018 in Tashkent.
According to the ISRS representative, peace and stability in Afghanistan will open up broad prospects for achieving sustainable development throughout the Eurasian continent. In this context, the importance was noted for the adoption of a universal peace program for Afghanistan initiated by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at Tashkent Conference, which includes measures agreed at the regional and global levels to achieve long-term and sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
A. Nematov noted that the functioning of the UN Standing Committee for Afghanistan, the establishment of which was proposed by Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, would allow consolidating various interests and strengthening the interaction of the international community in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan, mobilizing additional resources for the implementation of infrastructure projects and programs of socio-economic development, restoration of a peaceful economy in this country, which would help to ensure a continuous and progressive process of political settlement of the situation in Afghanistan.
Commenting on Uzbekistan’s policy in the Afghan direction, British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Timothy Torlot noted that Uzbekistan plays a leading role in the development of regional ties between Afghanistan and the neighboring countries. He emphasized that London highly appreciates the important and strategic role of Tashkent in advancing the peace process in Afghanistan and fully supports the efforts of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to involve Afghanistan in the Central Asian zone of stability, prosperity and good neighborliness.