Blinken discusses Afghan peace with Uzbek, Tajik counterparts

Advertisement

Blinken and the Tajik Foreign Minister agreed that a just and durable settlement in Afghanistan would advance regional economic growth and integration…reports Asian Lite News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday discussed peace and cooperation in Afghanistan with his Uzbek and Tajik counterparts during separate bilateral meetings in Washington.

“The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister (Abdulaziz Kamilov) for Uzbekistan’s continued support for a just and durable peace settlement in Afghanistan. He also welcomed Uzbekistan’s focus on regional connectivity, including closer political and economic cooperation with Afghanistan in ways that would support prosperity and growth across Central and South Asia,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

In a separate meeting with Tajik Foreign Minister Muhriddin, Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the strength and importance of the US-Tajikistan bilateral ties and expressed his appreciation for Muhriddin’s continued leadership on regional security issues.

Blinken and the Tajik Foreign Minister agreed that a just and durable settlement in Afghanistan would advance regional economic growth and integration, the State Department said.

“The Secretary expressed a desire for further bilateral collaboration on promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as economic development, and affirmed the U.S. commitment to Tajikistan’s security, stability, and territorial integrity,” the statement added.

Tajik Foreign Minister likewise agreed that a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan would advance integration and economic growth in the region, Sputnik reported.

According to the state department, Blinken expressed a desire to further human rights, freedom, and economic development in Central Asia, including through the C5+1 diplomatic platform.

Taliban attack at the peak in Afghanistan 

Back in April, Blinken hosted a virtual C5+1 Ministerial for the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan today. The C5+1 aims to enhance cooperation and coordination with, and among, Central Asian countries plus the US.

Meanwhile, the last contingent of US troops are expected to leave the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Friday, said a senior defense official, marking the end of the American presence at the compound that became the centre of military power in the country.

As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from the conflict-torn country under President Joe Biden’s order to end America’s ‘forever war’, the full withdrawal of US troops from the country is expected very soon, reported CNN.

Nearly two decades after the first American troops arrived at Bagram and helped take control of the field after the 9/11 attacks, the transfer of the field to the Afghan military proceeded without fanfare.

The airfield had become a small city in its own right, complete with shops, gyms, and classrooms for the thousands of service members and contractors who worked at the base and its facilities. It was the jumping-off point for military operations throughout the country, with space for cargo aircraft, fighter jets, and attack helicopters, CNN reported.

Bagram was the entry point for tens of thousands of troops who came into the country as part of their war on terror. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Lapid tells Blinken of concerns on Iran