The First Deputy PM met with the Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan
Nov 30, 2021
The First Deputy PM, Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund, met with the Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan, Ismatullah Irgashev. The meeting took place at the ARG, and both sides discussed political, economic, and other important issues. “We are grateful for the international humanitarian assistance, including from Uzbekistan, and want them to help the Afghan people in this difficult situation. Humanitarian aid alone cannot solve the problems of Afghans. If the countries of the region and the world want Afghans to get out of this situation, then in addition to freeing our frozen money, they should also implement major economic projects here,” said Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund.
The Uzbek delegation said they are talking to the international community about Afghanistan's frozen money and are trying to get it back to the IEA. Mr. Irgashev said that in addition to trading on the railways, they are ready to launch other major economic projects. He said security in Afghanistan is better now than it was on August 15 and that they are closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan. The Uzbek side added that they are in contact with the international community and countries in the region about Afghanistan. “On his first official visit to Russia, the Uzbek president had constructive talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Afghanistan, and Mr. Putin praised his efforts,” Mr. Irgashev said.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund called on the Uzbek delegation to return to the IEA the helicopters and military equipment that had been seized from Afghanistan during the fall of Kabul. Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund added that when Ashraf Ghani and his team left Kabul, in addition to cash, they also transferred many helicopters and military equipment to other countries.
The head of the Uzbek delegation, Ismatullah Irgashev, said the helicopters and military equipment had entered Uzbekistan illegally without our permission, and that they had now opened criminal cases against many of the pilots. He added that they would decide on the return of helicopters and all military equipment to the IEA in accordance with international law.
Speaking to the Uzbek side, Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund said that conditions are now ripe for investment in Afghanistan and that other countries in the region, including Uzbekistan, should not associate the start of economic projects with the recognition of the new government. “Afghans are in a very bad situation and humanitarian aid alone cannot solve their problems. The world should not associate the start of major projects with recognition,” he added.
Trade and transit were also discussed at the meeting. The Uzbek delegation said it would sign a major transit agreement with the Afghan side once the sanctions imposed to prevent the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak are lifted, which would make it easier for Afghan traders to export their goods to Uzbekistan. Ismatullah Irgashev said that with the implementation of this agreement, significant facilities would be provided to the traders of the two countries.
Mr. Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund also thanked Uzbekistan for its efforts to prevent the transfer of weapons from Afghanistan after the fall of Mazar-e-Sharif. "We appreciate your efforts in preventing the members of the previous administration from carrying weapons and ammunition during the fall of Mazar-e-Sharif," he said.
In addition to political and economic issues, the meeting also focused on strengthening bilateral ties.