Uzbekistan will mediate Afghanistan peace talks, envoy says


KABUL (TCA) — Uzbekistan is undertaking efforts hoping to bring the Taliban to negotiations table with the Afghan government to start peace talks and end the current war in Afghanistan, the Uzbek President’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev said on October 26, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

Irgashev made the remarks at a two-day security conference titled “Herat Security Dialogue VII” in Herat City which is attended by almost 200 delegates from more than 20 countries and international organizations.

According to the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS), the conference mainly discusses Afghanistan’s 40 years crisis, the reasons which have caused the crisis and also will seek ways to resolve the crisis and get the country out of the current situation.

“We contacted the Taliban based on the suggestion from the central government in Kabul and still we are in contact and we will try to help Taliban and the Afghan government to find a shared language and I am hopeful that we will finally achieve this goal,” said Irgashev.

He said Tashkent will continue its efforts to increase the annual trade volume between the two countries to $1 billion. He said this will be done by providing more facilities to Afghan investors.

The AISS chairman Daud Moradian said at the conference that conflict of interests and contradictions of thoughts of different stakeholders in Afghanistan is one of the main reasons behind the 40 years crisis in the country.

“We will try to at least encourage warring parties to talk and the talks will help in reducing violence in Afghanistan,” said Moradian.

“We should refer to talks and negotiations. Instead of the culture of violence and rejecting each other, we should move towards accepting each other and have cultural relations,” said Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former national security advisor.

William Meley, a professor from Australian National University, who has written a book on Afghanistan’s history, said Afghans cannot reach a peace agreement among themselves until insurgents commute in borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“As long as there are cross-border sanctuaries in Pakistan from which groups like Taliban can operate, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to make effective use of the broad disposition amongst Afghans,” said Meley.

Other speakers of the event said corruption and geopolitical issues are other reasons behind Afghanistan crisis.

“Political and security crisis has intensified. In my point of view, today, the geopolitical crisis has also intensified. It means, in different layers, competitions formed in Afghanistan between national, regional and international players in Afghanistan on gaining resources and having influence,” said Sardar Mohammad Rahimi, political affairs analyst and university lecturer.

Sergey Kwan