Uzbekistan 'ready' to host Afghan peace talks


TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan's Foreign Ministry Monday (June 18) confirmed it was ready to host potential peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

"The Foreign Ministry confirms its full readiness to create, at any stage of the peace process, all the necessary conditions for setting up direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement on Uzbekistan's territory," said a statement from the ministry.

The ministry added that it had already "established appropriate contacts and held working meetings with high-ranking representatives of the Taliban".

The Taliban last week agreed to a truce for the first three days of Eid -- June 15-17 -- and has since refused to extend it. Meanwhile, the Afghan government extended its own eight-day ceasefire, which had been due to expire Tuesday night (June 19), for another 10 days.

The ministry statement expressed hope that the truces would be "extended indefinitely".

Earlier in March, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev during an international peace conference on Afghanistan in Tashkent offered to host peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

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