Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan V.Norov at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Afghanistan


Distinguished participants of the Conference!

Dear friends!

I express my sincere gratitude for your participation in this important forum, and I want to wish you a pleasant stay in the hospitable Uzbek land as well as successful work.

I express our deep appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. António Guterres for supporting initiative of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to hold an International Conference on Afghanistan and for participating as his representative to Mr. Markus Potzel, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

I welcome the delegation of the Interim Government of Afghanistan headed by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Amir Khan Muttaqi.

I am confident that this event will contribute to the development of joint approaches of the international community, both on the issues of promoting stability, security, recovery of the national economy of Afghanistan and its integration into regional cooperation processes in the interests of the multinational Afghan people and the whole world.

Distinguished guests!

I would like to emphasize the key importance of the post-crisis development of Afghanistan for the entire system of international and regional security.

Uzbekistan is interested in the development of Afghanistan as a peaceful, independent and prosperous state.

We also maintain a clear position that in the foreseeable future, Afghanistan shall remain an important factor in regional security, directly affecting the national interests of regional countries, primarily the neighboring states.

As the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at the Consultative Meeting of the heads of Central Asian states on July 21 this year in Chalpan Atа, Kyrgyzstan, "Our most important priority should remain the continuation of close cooperation in promoting long-term peace in Afghanistan and its socio-economic recovery. 

We are the closest neighbors, and no one else should be interested in stability in this country.

It largely depends on us how the international community perceives this problem," emphasized the President of Uzbekistan.

In this regard, the development of joint approaches to solving the socio-economic problems of Afghanistan at this stage of the country’s development should become a top priority for the states of the region and the world community.

It is necessary to combine our efforts so that the long-sought peace reigns in the long-suffering land of Afghanistan and the conditions for the dynamic post-conflict development are created.

Today it is important to note that despite the lack of managerial experience, financial and economic constraints we can observe the  strong  desire of the Afghan authorities to improve the situation in the country, to exclude the appearance of various factors that, to one extent or another, can lead to a new wave of destabilization.

We were pleased with the willingness of the Interim Government not to impede the return to the country of political and social circles representatives who left Afghanistan after the August of 2021.

We are confident that these steps will contribute not only to the prompt achievement of national reconciliation, but also to a noticeable decrease in the intensity of the negative attitude towards the new authorities of the country.

Along with this, we believe that the prompt implementation by the Interim Government of the basic requirements of the international community, including the creation of an inclusive government based on broad representation, ensuring the rights of women and national minorities, as well as allowing the Afghan girls to receive a full-fledged school education is a guarantee of a peaceful future for all the Afghan people.

Dear friends!

All neighboring states and international partners are concerned about the threat of an escalation of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the risk of economic situation sliding into the abyss of chaos.

It is time to move from words to actions - to help to revive the Afghan economy and to create all the necessary conditions for involving Afghanistan in the regional integration processes.

In order to deliver the humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, we have created a multifunctional transport and logistics hub in the border city of Termez, which is now being actively used by various UN bodies.

On July 18, expeditionary work began on the territory of Afghanistan with the participation of specialists from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to determine the railway route of the trans–Afghan railway "Termez-Mazar–I–Sharif - Kabul- Peshawar" and a feasibility study of the project.

In addition, Uzbek specialists have completed work on the restoration of the international airport in the city of Mazar-I-Sharif this year.

We believe it is important to continue jointly with Afghanistan to implement such infrastructure projects as the construction of the “Termez - Mazar-e-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar” railroad, the transit potential of which is 20 million tons of cargo annually and the “Surkhan - Pul-e-Khumri” power transmission line.   

We invite all the participants of the conference to the presentation of the infrastructure projects on assisting the Afghanistan.

We are convinced that the implementation of these projects will not only help the reconstruction of the Afghan economy and make Afghanistan a bridge between Central and South Asia, but also promote the overall process of regional connectivity for the benefit and prosperity of the people of the vast region . 

We attach an enormous importance to the training of Afghan youth at the Educational Center in Termez, established at the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan. 

We are confident that this will accelerate the training of highly qualified specialists for the key sectors of the national economy of Afghanistan, who will be able to make a fair share of contribution to its economic revival.

The defrost of Afghanistan’s financial assets abroad is a major factor in rebuilding Afghanistan’s economy, addressing the acute issues of social nature currently facing the people of this friendly country, as well as implementing the significant infrastructure projects for the benefit of the whole Afghanistan. 

In conclusion, I would like to highlight that only through the joint efforts we can achieve a lasting peace and national harmony in this country. 

There is no other way, and the destiny of the people of Afghanistan and its peaceful, bright future will largely depend on our current coordinated actions.           

Thank you for your attention!

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