No Il­lu­sions, Nor Dis­ap­point­ments

“Uzbek­istan got out of the world iso­la­tion, while Rus­sia and the United States con­tin­ued to ar­gue, and no one at the Afghanistan con­fer­ence in Tashkent no­ticed the absence of the Tal­iban.” One can come across such com­ments in the in­ter­net these days. And

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - WORLD -

To be­gin with, we ought to bear in mind that the con­fer­ence was orig­i­nally con­ceived of as a ne­go­ti­a­tion plat­form, whose par­tak­ers would drive the op­pos­ing forces in Afghanistan to start a po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment and the in­tra-Afghan ne­go­ti­a­tion process. Such was the stance of the UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral’s Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Ya­mamoto. At the con­fer­ence, he ap­pealed to the states in con­tact with the Tal­iban to in­flu­ence the move­ment in the talks pro­gres­sion: coun­tries that have con­tacts with the Tal­iban should use those ties to urge them to ne­go­ti­ate for peace, the UN of­fi­cial as­serted.

In this re­gard, none of the 26 del­e­ga­tions present in Tashkent - in­clud­ing In­dia, Pak­istan and Iran - had ex­act­ing il­lu­sions about the con­se­quences, wrote the French Le Monde. “All pre­vi­ous ini­tia­tives had failed, and the Tal­iban, ac­cord­ing to many par­tic­i­pants, now con­trol half of the coun­try. Well, there are no il­lu­sions, nor dis­ap­point­ments. But there is this con­fer­ence as a sign of will­ing­ness of Tashkent to be a trust­wor­thy and re­li­able plat­form for peace­ful in­traAfghan talks, which can hardly be de­nied. In ad­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to the ex­perts them­selves, this is quite a lot, con­sid­er­ing that no other world cap­i­tal can serve as a meet­ing place for the op­pos­ing Afghans, which would be equally ac­cept­able for the con­flict­ing par­ties and ex­ter­nal cospon­sors of the peace process. “We are ready to de­liver – at any stage of the peace process – ev­ery­thing es­sen­tial for the or­ga­ni­za­tion of direct talks in the ter­ri­tory of Uzbek­istan be­tween the Gov­ern­ment of Afghanistan and the Tal­iban,” the pa­per quotes the host of the fo­rum, Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev. An­other key point of the con­fer­ence, a revelation even for ex­pe­ri­enced diplo­mats, was Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani’s state­ment that Afghanistan is a Cen­tral Asian coun­try. For many, the words of the Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs of Uzbek­istan Ab­du­laziz Kamilov, sound now clearer than ever: for us, he said, peace in Afghanistan is our life, while for some, it is per­haps only an in­ter­est­ing process. Af­ter all, not ev­ery con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pat­ing na­tion ad­joins Afghanistan and can there­fore eas­ily un­der­stand the wis­dom of the proverb “You can have peace when your neigh­bor is at peace”. There­fore, there is no rea­son to doubt the pu­rity of Tashkent’s in­ten­tions, which sin­cerely be­lieves that the meet­ing that took place will help to ex­tin­guish the long-stand­ing Afghan conflict. “If there is an end to the vi­o­lence, it will be a universal vic­tory and no one’s de­feat.” There may hardly be an ex­pert who does not agree with such a mes­sage of the Tashkent con­fer­ence.

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