Tuesday, 21, August, 2018

Spokesperson of the Department of State Heather Nauert answering a question at a Press Briefing about Conference on Afghanistan to be held in Tashkent said:

"A lot going on in Central Asia. And we’re pretty enthusiastic about it, at least in terms of our participation and our long-term hopes for Afghanistan, despite the horrific attacks that we have seen taking place."

"And I am constantly reminded by the resilience of the Afghan people. Remember last year, there was a Kabul conference and they held that Kabul conference immediately after, or not long after, there were some horrific attacks as well. So the fact that the Afghans are willing to go forward with that is impressive and a testament to their bravery."

"The Afghan Government – the United States is participating in this as well, as well as international – other international countries. We anticipate they will have candid conversations about peace, about security, about overall connectivity, building and those types of things regarding Afghanistan, but also the broader region. The fact that the meeting is happening is something that is really impressive, and we look forward to being a part of that meeting.

"In terms of – you were asking about Tashkent in Uzbekistan. There is a conference that is being held there. It’s being led by the Government of Uzbekistan. The Government of Afghanistan will take part. Uzbekistan has really what’s considered a historic role. Our Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, who is participating in some of these overall broader discussions, has spoken about this."

"And she’s really pointed out that she sees a new – a new Tashkent, and how helpful they have been to the overall process and growing prosperity in Afghanistan. Among the things she said about this: “It’s a real opportunity for the region to embrace what we think is going to come out of the Kabul process – an Afghan call for peace, for reconciliation and affirmation. That is the answer to Afghanistan.”

"And so to be able to gather in Tashkent and to have the regional powers and important global powers there to be able to take that proclamation and endorse it, and look at how the region can support this, is very important. We consider Uzbekistan as having a historic role in supporting stability in Afghanistan, and that conference is considered a real return to the international stage in a lot of ways. So we look forward to that."

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