The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, speaking on September 17 at a SCO Summit in Dushanbe, put forward several proposals for cooperation with Afghanistan.
In particular, Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed that the SCO countries develop a dialogue with the new authorities of Afghanistan and prevent the growth of extremism.
“Today a new reality has taken shape in this country. New forces came to power. This is an accomplished fact. In this regard, it is necessary to develop coordinated approaches to the situation in Afghanistan, as well as to develop a dialogue with the new authorities," - said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The President noted that it was important to achieve broad political representation of all strata of the Afghan society in the government. It is also important to prevent the possible growth of extremism and radical ideology, the use of Afghanistan for terrorist attacks against other states, he added.
In addition, the head of state proposed to unfreeze Afghanistan's assets in foreign banks. Shavkat Mirziyoyev believes that this measure will prevent a large-scale humanitarian crisis and an increase in the flow of refugees, and continue to assist this country in solving social problems.
The Uzbek leader also proposed to organize a meeting in the SCO-Afghanistan format in Tashkent in 2022.
“To consolidate our efforts and broadly discuss issues of political settlement in this country, we propose to regularly hold high-level meetings in the SCO-Afghanistan format with the involvement of observer states and dialogue partners. We are ready to organize the first such meeting in Tashkent,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
He also proposed to hold an economic forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan in 2022. At the same time, the President of Uzbekistan noted the importance of accelerating the adoption of the SCO industrial cooperation program. “The practical mechanism for its implementation will be the creation of cooperation centers in our countries,” added Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The President of Uzbekistan also put forward a proposal in the field of combating the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic has shown the need for close collaboration in the public health sector. In this context, we should adopt a roadmap for cooperation in the prevention of infectious diseases and post-covid rehabilitation, ”Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
The roadmap, he added, should contain measures for the mutual recognition of coronavirus vaccination certificates. Earlier the head of state also put forward this initiative at the forum on Central and South Asia in Tashkent in July.
In addition, the President of Uzbekistan announced several more initiatives for cooperation within the SCO:
- development of the Intraregional Trade Development Program;
- adoption of the Industrial Cooperation Program and the creation of cooperation centers in this area;
- adoption of the SCO Strategy in the field of transport connectivity;
- development of the Infrastructure Development Program in the SCO;
- enhancing cooperation in the field of poverty reduction and food security;
- establishment of the SCO expert Forum in the field of information security;
- introduction of the institution of the SCO Goodwill Ambassador;
- development of an intergovernmental agreement in the field of tourism.
At the SCO Summit, it was decided to transfer to Uzbekistan the chairmanship of this organization in 2021-2022. In order to implement the president's proposals for the period of chairmanship, it is planned to hold more than 80 events together with partners.
The heads of state also considered issues on the regional agenda, including in the context of the emerging situation in Afghanistan.