Uzbekistan not received request from Taliban to participate in conference on Afghanistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- Uzbekistan did not receive a request from the Taliban to participate in the Tashkent international conference on Afghanistan “Peace process, cooperation in the field of security and regional cooperation”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan said.

International conference on Afghanistan will be held on 26-27 March 2018 in the capital of Uzbekistan.

Answering the question of the Reuters agency about the possible participation of representatives of the armed Afghan opposition, in particular, the Taliban movement, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said that the request from them was not received either through the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan or directly.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan said in its statement that that the UN Secretary-General, the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as the Foreign Ministers of China, Russia, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were invited to the conference. The invitation was also sent to Qatar.

By 12 March, the head of the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, the EU High Representative and the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan confirmed the participation in the forum. The US will be represented by the First Deputy Secretary of State, the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan said.

It is expected that the forum participants will express a consolidated position on the need for the early start of direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban without any preconditions. The principal thesis, which is planned to be included in the final Tashkent declaration, is that the peace process should be led by the forces of the Afghans themselves in accordance with the provisions of the resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the UN Security Council.

Another key point: the international community strongly opposes all forms and manifestations of terrorism, the ministry said.

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