Taliban reports Uzbekistan’s support for Qosh Tepa canal project

A delegation from Uzbekistan, led by Foreign Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov, met with senior Taliban officials in Afghanistan, including Chief Minister Hassan Akhund, Deputy Chief Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar, and Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. The delegation pledged support for the Qosh Tepa canal project, including sending a technical team to assist with the initiative.

Completed in October, the first phase of the Qosh Tepa canal project aims to divert water from the Amu River to transform 550,000 hectares of desert into arable land. Stretching 108 kilometers from the Amu River to the Daulat Abad district in Balkh province, the canal’s total length is expected to reach 285 kilometers.

During the meetings, Uzbekistan’s delegation, which also included special representative for Afghanistan Ismatullah Argashev, expressed a commitment to enhancing relations and supporting Afghanistan’s development. “Uzbekistan will never leave Afghanistan alone and seeks to expand relations,” said the Taliban’s statement, quoting the Uzbek officials.

The talks also covered economic relations, with the Uzbek delegation assuring their Afghan counterparts of taking necessary steps to implement economic projects. A professional team from Uzbekistan is slated to visit Afghanistan soon for a technical review of the canal project.

The Taliban also noted Uzbekistan’s readiness to accept their ambassador as a move to “expand political and economic relations.”

Officials from Uzbekistan have yet to comment on the meetings.