Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan offer to host Intra-Afghan peace talks

Representative image
Representative image

Doha [Qatar], September 12 (ANI/Sputnik): Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov offered on Saturday their respective countries' services to provide a platform for negotiations between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban radical movement.
Kamilov and Meredov spoke via video conferencing at the opening ceremony of the landmark intra-Afghan talks in the Qatari capital of Doha.
"I would like to reaffirm Uzbekistan's readiness to host one of the rounds of the intra-Afghan talks in the wonderful city of Samarkand," Kamilov said.
Sputnik knew about Uzbekistan's offer since Friday from the Uzbek president's special representative for Afghanistan, Ismatulla Irgashev.
The Turkmen foreign minister, in turn, vowed his country's support to the "advancement of the peace process in Afghanistan, designed to importantly contribute to the strengthening of the regional security and stability," as quoted in a press release by the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.
"[Meredov] also emphasized that Turkmenistan has always called for the resolution of issues exclusively via diplomatic and political instruments and stands ready to facilitate the [intra-Afghan] negotiation process, including by providing political space," the press release read.
On February 29, the Taliban and the United States reached a landmark agreement in the Qatari capital of Doha. The key provisions of the deal were that the Taliban and the Afghan government release each other's prisoners -- 1,000 and 5,000, respectively -- and that the radical movement commits to reducing violence, as prerequisites of launching intra-Afghan talks.
The talks, which began on Saturday in Doha, are now expected to pave the way for a peace process and withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan after almost two decades of war and insurgency. (ANI/Sputnik)