Photo: Thomas West via Twitter

US envoys and C5 officials stressed continued cooperation in Afghanistan

The US Special Envoys and Central Asian officials, or the C5, have emphasized continued cooperation in Afghanistan and support for its people.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, accompanied by the US Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls and Human Rights, Rina Amiri met officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan in the Kazakh capital, Astana on July 27.

On Friday, the US State Department released a statement updating the agenda of the meeting that involved discussion on a wide range of topics.

The statement said that all participants discussed the continuing need for regional countries and beyond to support an inclusive, stable, and sovereign Afghanistan that respects human rights, including that of women and girls, and prevent its territory from being used as a breeding ground for terror groups.

The participants indicated that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan will only be formed if all its citizens, including women and girls, and people hailing from different ethnic and religious backgrounds can fully, equally, and meaningfully participate in the country’s future. In doing so, the participants underlined the need for an inclusive process of dialogue on the country’s political future.

Moreover, the statement highlighted the dire humanitarian and economic situations in Afghanistan, stressing the need for a “strong and coordinated response” from the international community to address the crises.

The US envoys and C5 officials also reaffirmed the importance of projects that promote regional connectivity and transit trade connecting Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan.

The participants expressed concern regarding continued opiate exports and synthetic drug production in Afghanistan, reaffirming the need for strengthening cooperation on illegal drugs and countering trafficking in persons and arms.

All sides welcomed the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to convene international stakeholders to discuss shared interests and concerns, emphasizing the importance of the continued UN political presence in Afghanistan and its goals of promoting effective and inclusive governance and supporting meaningful reconciliation processes.