15 December 2017

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Joint Statement By Presidents of Afghanistan And Uzbekistan

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Thursday December 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan HE Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan HE Mohammad Ashraf Ghani paid an official visit to Uzbekistan on December 4-6, 2017.
During negotiations, which took place in the atmosphere of traditional friendship and mutual trust, two Heads of States exchanged views on all aspects of large-scale bilateral cooperation, as well as international issues of mutual interest. The Parties noted with pleasure the convergence and similarity of their views on all matters discussed.
The Presidents discussed the process of implementation of previous agreements and signed bilateral documents and recognized that recently cooperation between the two countries in political, trade-economic, cultural, humanitarian, as well as other areas have been developing at a rapid pace. In this regard, the Heads of States made the following statements:
1.              Proceeding from mutual aspiration to further develop and strengthen wide-ranging cooperation based on equality, good neighborhood, mutual benefit and respect, the Parties expressed their readiness to further enhance the legal framework of bilateral relations, the practice of holding political consultations at various levels, and consolidate mutual partnership.
2.            The Afghan side applauded the policy pursued under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan HE Shavkat Mirziyoyev in terms of enhancing and deepening mutually beneficial ties with neighboring countries and expanding regional cooperation. HE President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani highly assessed the Development Strategy of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021, which is being actively implemented, and characterized it as an important factor in ensuring Uzbekistan’s further prosperity and well-being. Similarly, HE President Shavkat Mirziyoyev appreciated the vision and efforts of HE President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in strengthening and expanding multi-dimensional ties of friendship, common security and trade, transit and economic development between Afghanistan and the Central Asian States and in particular the deepening of trust and cooperation between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. As a result of these commendable efforts, Central Asia and Afghanistan have begun to develop the closest and the most mutually beneficial ties since the independence of the Central Asian states.
3.             The Heads of States noted with pleasure the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries and reaffirmed the development of good neighborhood ties during this period.
4.             Recognizing that cooperation at the international level meets the interests of the two countries, the Parties noted that they are interested in extending mutual support and consolidating mutual partnership within the framework of international organizations, primarily the United Nations.
The Parties reaffirmed the importance of ensuring sustainable development, security and stability in the world on the basis of the goals and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and universally recognized norms of international law, increasing the role of this organization and its institutions in addressing global and regional challenges.
5.             The Presidents noted with satisfaction the productive cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
6.             The Heads of States reaffirmed that all conflicts, confrontations and disagreements in the international relations can be resolved solely through political negotiations and other peaceful means and in strict compliance with fundamental international norms and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
7.             The Presidents have common belief that the earliest achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan is an important element for maintaining and strengthening security and stability in Central Asia, the neighboring regions and beyond. They emphasized the need for a political solution to ensure peace and reconciliation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban through an Afghan Government-led and owned process. To reach this goal, the two leaders stressed the need for an effective regional and global cooperation to create an enabling environment for lasting peace and reconciliation.
8.             The Heads of States expressed their deepest concerns about the growing threats posed by international terrorism and foreign fighters, extremism, transnational organized crime, illegal migration, illicit drug or psychotropic substances trafficking, and other challenges to regional security. In this respect, the two leaders emphasized the importance of bilateral interaction, regional consensus and global cooperation in countering the abovementioned threats and challenges to security. HE President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed his appreciation and support for the efforts made by the Afghan side for promotion of regional and global cooperation in this regard. The Parties especially underscored that signing of an Intergovernmental Protocol on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Security Issues plays an important role in this direction.
9.             The Presidents noted that the further development of mutually beneficial trade-economic relations is important for strengthening the existing relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In this regard, the Parties reaffirmed the importance of further increasing the volume and expanding the range of trade by continuing the implementation of the Roadmap for further development of a full-fledged cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan signed in Kabul in January 2017. To this end, the Parties noted the importance of extensive use of Uzbek-Afghan trading houses established in the cities of Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and the opportunities of “Termez-Cargo” International Logistic Center established in Termez city.
The Afghan side expressed gratitude to the Uzbek side for the assistance extended to meet the needs of the country’s economy in various goods and services. The Uzbek side expressed its readiness to further increase the supply of wheat, medicine, electrical equipment, building materials, mineral fertilizers, cars, ambulances, agricultural machinery, industrial and food products to the Afghan market. The Parties expressed their readiness to take all necessary measures to increase the volume of mutual annual trade to 1 billion USD by 2019 and ensure its steady growth in subsequent years.
10.       The Heads of States positively assessed the results of the second meeting of the Joint Commission on Trade, Economy, Transport and Energy, held in Tashkent in December 2016. They underlined the need to further strengthen the role of the Commission as an effective mechanism in ensuring the timely and unconditional implementation of agreements at the highest level, as well as in the elaboration of coordinated measures for further development of mutually beneficial cooperation, primarily, in trade, transit, economic and transport-communication spheres.
11.        The Presidents noted the priority importance of bilateral cooperation in the field of transport and transit corridors, which provide the shortest and most effective access to foreign markets.
In this regard, the Parties agreed to further intensify mutual efforts aimed at ensuring the construction of railways and highways, as well as facilitating the development of transit traffic and trade on the territory of Afghanistan. In particular, based on the efficient bilateral cooperation and the experience of mutual benefit, the Parties agreed to jointly implement the following projects aimed at further development of transport infrastructure in Afghanistan:
·       Construction of the “Mazar-e-Sharif–Herat” railway line, planned within the framework of the “Trans-Afghan Transport Corridor”;
·       Construction of the “Surkhan–Pul-i-Khumri” power transmission line with a capacity of 500 KW from the Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan to the town of Pul-i-Khumri of Afghanistan;
·       Reconstruction of the Kabul Ring Road, the Qaisar-Laman Road, the Salang Tunnel etc.
The Presidents welcomed the signing of cooperation agreements on the “Termez-Hairatan” bridge between the relevant organizations of the two countries.
12.      The Parties welcomed the launching of direct flights from Kabul to Tashkent as an important milestone in strengthening regional connectivity, business-to-business and people-to-people interaction.
13.       Realizing their historical responsibility for the preservation and strengthening of the centuries-old friendship, brotherhood and cooperation between the peoples of the two countries, the Parties reaffirmed their commitment to the further development and strengthening of bilateral ties in the field of culture, education, science, art, sports and other spheres.
14.       The Afghan side expressed gratitude for Uzbekistan’s assistance in developing human capacity in various important sectors and industries of Afghanistan.
15.       The Parties expressed confidence that the opening of the Consulate of Afghanistan in Termez will make a worthy contribution to the development of bilateral and regional cooperation by swiftly resolving the consular and legal issues of citizens of not only the two countries but also other states, especially those engaged in trade and economic activities.
16.       The Presidents expressed confidence that fruitful negotiations, as well as bilateral documents signed during the visit, will contribute to further strengthening traditionally, friendly and good neighborly relations between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan based on equality and mutual interest.
17.       The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan HE Mohammad Ashraf Ghani expressed his gratitude to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan HE Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the people of Uzbekistan for warm hospitality extended to the Afghan delegation and invited the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to pay an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at his convenience. The dates of the visit will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.
 

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