By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Representatives of the governments of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, United States of America, and Turkmenistan convened via video teleconference on October 8, 2020, for an Afghanistan – Turkmenistan – United States of America Trilateral Meeting.
The meeting was co-chaired by American Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar, and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, the MoFA said in a statement yesterday.
Participants reaffirmed the importance of trilateral discussions to address mutual issues of concern including political, security, and economic matters, according to the statement. They meeting agreed to commit to engage in greater joint cooperation in support of regional security, economic growth, and development, and called on countries of the region and the broader international community, to support the Afghan Peace Negotiations, and ensure that the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned Peace Negotiations strengthen a united, sovereign, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and the region.
According to MoFA statement, the meeting also emphasized to preserve and build upon the gains in democratization and human rights made by Afghans over the past 19 years, as a necessary condition for sustainable peace. The meeting also decided to improve security cooperation and intensify joint efforts to combat cross-border threats, and to address security issues such as terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, and irregular migration;
“Identify and support opportunities to increase people-to-people ties between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the United States of America; Promote women’s meaningful inclusion, participation, and protection across all of the work they do to advance peace, security, and economic growth in the region; Promote trade between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the United States of America by reviewing legal restrictions on trades and increasing efficiency of customs procedures under the existing Central Asia TIFA,” the MoFA statement quoted the meeting decision.
The officials also agreed to increase cooperation in utilizing and improving the Lapis Lazuli Corridor and in identifying other transportation projects on which Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the United States of America can work together to increase trade in the region;
“The meeting also discussed supporting projects that promote regional connectivity, by enhancing cooperation on construction and extension of transportation networks connecting Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan, Working together to identify and implement infrastructure projects, including projects for the sharing of energy resources such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) power project and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project,” the statement said.
The officials also decided to increase humanitarian engagement between their peoples, including through coordination to confront the current pandemic, future public health crises, and natural disasters; Promote women’s equality and economic empowerment so that women can serve as drivers of the response to and recovery from the impacts of the current pandemic and beyond; and engage in ongoing dialogue whereby Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and the United States of America can renew support for shared projects and goals, explore new opportunities for collaboration, and build together for a secure and prosperous future for Central Asia.
The participants look forward to continuing these discussions, the statement added.