Comments on UN General Assembly Central Asia Resolution (part 6)
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For the first time in recent history, the standing of Central Asian nations has been consolidated as actors of world politics. According to experts, this owes largely to the open and constructive foreign policy of Uzbekistan, whose most critical priority today is to boost regional cooperation.
Sayyed Shahabuddin TIMURI,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Afghanistan to Uzbekistan
— Afghanistan has deep historical ties with the states of Central Asia, and is a trade and transport corridor in the region. Therefore, our country strongly supports any steps aimed at establishing regional stability. The resolution of the UN General Assembly is a step in this direction, which aims to, among other things, raise regional cooperation in Central Asia to a higher level, and also to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan. We warmly support this initiative. In this regard, I emphasize that Afghanistan is making great efforts to expand friendly relations with all the republics of Central Asia.
On the other hand, the countries of the region are trying to resist the challenges of our time, primarily terrorism. I am confident that the expansion of economic ties in Central Asia, the establishment of good-neighborly relations among the states of the region will contribute to this task.
I would like to note that in this issue Afghanistan does not want to be just an observer, but seeks to play a more active role in this process, in which the Central Asian nations contribute to the peace process in our country. Here I would like to express my deep gratitude to the government of Uzbekistan for organizing an international conference on Afghanistan and, of course, for supporting economic issues. Uzbekistan is the first country to build a railway in Afghanistan. This 75 km long line, Hairaton – Mazar-i-Sharif, has been operating since 2011 and is the first long-distance railway line of general use. And this fact will forever remain in the history of Afghanistan.
The railway heralds transport integration in the northern part of the country. Now we are working with Uzbek experts to continue this railway from Mazar-i-Sharif to Herat.
In addition, Uzbekistan is one of the main suppliers of electricity for Afghanistan, where there is an acute shortage of power. Because of the growth in consumption, we intend to further increase the purchase of Uzbek energy.
Negotiations are currently underway to build a new Surkhon-Puli-Khumri transmission line and then Uzbekistan will be able to swell the export of electricity to Afghanistan several times.