Afghanistan must not be left alone with its problems: Uzbek president

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. Sept. 16, 2022.

Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Friday stressed the need for supporting the people of Afghanistan, saying that the past mistakes must not be repeated to leave the neighboring country alone.

“Let me stress that the Afghan people need our good-neighborly help more than ever,” Mirziyoyev said. “We must not repeat past mistakes by leaving Afghanistan alone with its problems.”

He said that strengthening the coordination in promoting peace and the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan should remain among the SCO’s key priorities.

The Uzbek leader said that further sanctions on the ruling Taliban will lead the country toward “transformation into a springboard for terrorist organizations.”

He reiterated his government’s “constructive contacts” with Kabul “to fulfill the international obligations previously adopted by Afghanistan’s interim authorities, including in the field of women’s and children’s rights.”

Mirziyoyev said they propose the joint creation of a special Humanitarian Support Fund for Afghanistan in the border city of Termez, using the modern infrastructure of the international transport and logistics hub established there.

“The funds shall be used to overcome the social crisis in this country, to implement the educational programs for youth and the projects in healthcare,” he added.

The Uzbek president said that at the SCO, they sought to intensify practical cooperation within the organization to increase its potential and international prestige.

“Along with security issues, the priority was given to enhancing trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation,” he added.

The presidents of Russia, Tajikistan and China as well as prime ministers of India and Pakistan have also attended the summit in Samarkand.