Diplomacy

Uzbekistan, US, Afghanistan hold consultations on regional co-operation

Caravanserai

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is shown addressing the 8th Heart of Asia Conference in Istanbul December 9. [Afghan presidential website]

ISTANBUL -- Uzbek, Afghan and American delegations Monday (December 9) conferred on the sidelines of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process, according to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry.

The Heart of Asia is a multinational platform for aiding Afghanistan. It was founded in 2011.

The three delegations' leaders were Ismatulla Irgashev (Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's special representative for Afghanistan), US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells,and Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman.

Topics included ways to expand trade between Afghanistan and Central Asia, co-operation in Afghan reconstruction, and Afghan involvement in regional integration processes.

The delegations agreed to hold trilateral consultations regularly on deepening Uzbek-Afghan relations.

Uzbek aid to Afghanistan over the years has included building Afghanistan's first long-distance common carrier railway, educating Afghan students in Uzbekistan and constructing a transmission line to deliver Uzbek electricity to Afghanistan.

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