To the Participants of the International Conference «Afghanistan: Security and Economic Development»
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Distinguished heads of delegations!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am sincerely pleased to welcome all the participants of the Tashkent International Conference «Afghanistan: security and economic development».
I express my special gratitude to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization Mr. António Guterres for his support of our initiative to hold this forum.
The participation of the representative of the UN Secretary-General Mr. Marcus Potzel at the Conference stands as a testimony of a firm commitment of the United Nations to the goals of consolidating peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The participation of the special envoys from the European Union and the countries of Europe, China, Russia, the United States, the states of Central and South Asia, the Middle and Near East, and the Asia-Pacific solidifies the significance of today’s meeting. You are immediately involved in decision-making on tackling the problems of Afghanistan and rendering assistance to the Afghan people.
We are pleased to see in our forum the heads of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organization, as well as the representatives of international financial institutions and leading analytical centers.
We welcome the high-profile Afghan delegation led by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi, which is participating in the forum.
We believe that this Conference shall promote a constructive exchange of views in terms of building up the interactions with the new authorities of Afghanistan based on a comprehensive consideration of the interests of the Afghan people and the world community as a whole.
Distinguished participants of the Conference!
For over a space of millennia the Uzbek and Afghan people lived side by side with one another. We share common cultural, spiritual and historical values, one religion and the heritage of great ancestors.
It should be underscored that without stability on the other bank of Amudarya, it is impossible to achieve security and stable development in Uzbekistan and the entire Central Asian region.
In this regard, it cannot but arouse concern that the attention is getting reduced in the world to Afghanistan, which is facing a deep socio-economic and humanitarian crisis in its newest history.
We are convinced that today the international community won’t repeat the mistakes of the 1990s, shall be able to avoid them and this goal should certainly be achieved.
The international isolation of Afghanistan shall inevitably lead to further deterioration of the humanitarian situation. Thus, it is important not to allow for this, since the point is about the fate of millions of people.
At the moment, the Interim Government of Afghanistan takes certain steps in terms of peaceful reconstruction of the country, strives to improve the socio-economic situation, establishing friendly relations with neighboring countries and mutually beneficial cooperation with an international community. We must foster and endorse these efforts.
Meanwhile, forming a broad representation of all layers of the Afghan society in state governance, ensuring basic human rights and freedoms, especially for women and all ethnic-confessional groups remain fundamental conditions for establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan.
We call on the current government of Afghanistan to show a firm will and take resolute measures to prevent and counteract terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations, break up the ties with all international terrorist organizations.
Such an approach shall lead up to the consolidation of trust in an Interim government, open up the real prospects for stable development of Afghanistan in an atmosphere of friendship, good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation with its nearest surrounding states and the international community.
The Special resolution adopted recently by the UN General Assembly on strengthening connectivity between Central and South Asia has also confirmed the most important significance of preserving peace in Afghanistan to ensure international security.
All of us, the entire international community, must show solidarity with the Afghan people. We should direct our efforts to create the real prerequisites for Afghanistan to become a peaceful, stable and prosperous land – free from terrorism, wars and narcotics.
Our common priority must become the recovery of Afghanistan’s economy. It is such an approach, which is considered an important condition for achieving solid peace in this long-suffering country. In particular, this direction includes its integration into inter-regional economic processes, implementation of the infrastructure and socially significant projects.
At the moment, Uzbekistan is making a tangible contribution to the international efforts on rendering assistance to the socio-economic and humanitarian recovery of Afghanistan, including through the promotion of large trans-regional infrastructure projects.
In conclusion, I would like to express hope that today’s Conference shall become an effective platform for productive discussions and the development of concerted approaches, which correspond to the interests and aspirations of the people of Afghanistan.
I wish success to the work of the Conference and all of its participants.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan