Uzbekistan to host 4th ministerial meeting of regional countries on Afghanistan

The fourth ministerial conference of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries is set to take place on April 13 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Foreign ministers of Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will come together to discuss Afghanistan’s political settlement and the stabilization efforts in the country.

According to the Russian state-run TASS News Agency, the meeting will discuss further steps by regional partners to facilitate an Afghan political settlement and stabilize the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the country.

“Given the complicated security situation and growing terrorist activity and drug production in Afghanistan, the coordination of counter-terrorist and anti-drug efforts of the region’s countries is especially important.” the news agency quoted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia as saying.

“Special attention will be paid to regional economic integration and implementation of transport and energy projects with the participation of Kabul in accordance with previously reached agreements,” the Ministry added.

It is not clear whether the Taliban will attend the meeting. The group has yet to comment regarding the meeting.

The third ministerial meeting among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan took place in China on March 31, 2022. The foreign ministers convened to address Afghanistan’s security challenges and humanitarian crisis.

According to their joint statement, the ministers described terrorism as a significant destabilizing factor in the country, condemning all violent acts and terrorist attacks. They also reiterated on their stance that no place in Afghanistan should be given to ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist organizations.