NEWS AND EVENTS
May 22, 2012
On NATO Summit in Chicago
A delegation of the Republic Uzbekistan headed by the minister of foreign affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov and the minister of defence Kabul Berdiev took part at the special ISAF meeting on Afghanistan within the NATO Summit proceedings in Chicago (US).
Representatives of nations contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a number of invited countries and international organizations discussed perspectives of stabilization of situation and the issues of social-economic recovery in Afghanistan.
Chicago Summit Declaration on Afghanistan by the ISAF members was adopted based on the results of the meeting.
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Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov at the Meeting of the NATO Summit on Afghanistan (May 21, 2012, Chicago)
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to very briefly speak on our vision of addressing the Afghan problem.
It has already passed more than 10 years after the last Afghan campaign has started. The real trends and the situation that now unfold in Afghanistan testify to the lack of any prospect to tackle the Afghan confrontation only by military means and bring about the acute need to find the acceptable and optimal exit strategy from this rather long-lasting crisis.
In this context, the decision adopted in October 2010 in the Lisbon NATO Summit on accelerated creation of the Afghan National Security Forces, the gradual transfer of responsibility to these Forces in terms of ensuring security in the country and the step-by-step withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 today stand as the most important links in implementing this multidimensional and long-term task.
Assessing the scale and multifaceted nature of the Strategy and Program of measures being adopted to stabilize and achieve peace in Afghanistan, I would like to briefly speak about the certain problems which ask for, as we believe, a special attention.
First, the success of the Program depends, firstly, on the concerted actions of the states and subjects involved in the Afghan campaign, as well as unconditional fulfillment of the commitments taken on by the parties to provide the viability of Afghanistan.
Second, much depends on the fact that to what extent it would be able in a shortest period of time to create rather combat-ready Afghan security forces, while taking into account the complexity of the interethnic and interfaith relations in Afghanistan, as well as their capability to take on a full responsibility to preserve stability in the country.
Third, I would like to especially underscore that the forthcoming step-by-step withdrawal of the coalition forces opens up the new opportunities and stimuli to push forward the negotiation process between confronting Afghan forces.
The establishment of the Contact Group under auspices of the United Nations with participation of the neighboring countries, as well as the United States, NATO and Russia that have an immediate relation to resolving the Afghan problem could become the most acceptable thing in terms of organizing and coordinating this work.
The core task of the Contact Group is to achieve a compromise and accord between confronting parties on the key issues that set apart the country, while not ruling out the establishment of a coalition government which would represent the main regional and ethno-political groups in Afghanistan.
The guarantees to be provided by the international community in terms of the following aspects will have a crucial significance to ensure success of the negotiation process:
- the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Afghanistan, as well as providing for a peaceful nature of the country free of terrorism and drug crimes;
- full respect towards the centuries-long traditions, customs and values of the religion of Islam abided by the country’s people;
- the necessary assistance in recovering the devastated economy, implementation of the social and infrastructure projects, as well as tackling unemployment and outstanding tasks to address poverty and misery.
Speaking about the specific socio-economic and humanitarian assistance rendered by Uzbekistan in providing peaceful resolution and stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan, I would like to underscore the following:
Our country was one of the first to allocate its territory and infrastructure to ensure deliveries of humanitarian and non-lethal goods into Afghanistan by opening up the Khairaton Bridge over the Amudarya River which is practically the only railroad link which connects Afghanistan with external world.
The tens of motorway bridges and automobile roads have been built in the territory of Afghanistan. At the moment, Kabul is provided with electricity along the electricity power line Khairaton – Puli-Humri – Kabul. Afghanistan has joined Uzbekistan’s fiber-optical communication line.
Since 2011 the railroad route Khairaton – Mazari-Shareef, built by the Uzbek specialists, has been functioning which acquires a special significance for the future of this region. The continuation of construction of the section Mazari-Shareef – Shibergan shall pave way for implementing the Trans-Afghan transport corridor project which will ensure the shortest route for the transit of goods from Central Asia to seaports.
Starting from February 2002 a transshipment station based on the Termez Airport has been operating in the territory of Uzbekistan which is actively utilized by the Federative Republic of Germany and several other NATO participating countries to support the ISAF mission.
Today Uzbekistan is a key link in the Northern Distribution Network, the transport and communication corridor, which connects the harbors of the Baltic and Black Seas with Afghanistan and fulfills the crucially important role to support the ISAF contingent.
Since the time when the Northern Distribution Network began to operate, more than 27 thousand railcars of non-lethal goods in the amount of about 400 thousand tons have been transported through the territory of Uzbekistan.
In connection with the decision adopted in Lisbon on withdrawal of troops, hardware, equipment and providing a return transit from Afghanistan, the volumes will significantly rise as much as the tasks will get more complex to ensure a reliable operation of the Northern Distribution Network. The calculations reveal that the network traffic may increase about twofold.
It arouses a serious concern, firstly, the state of affairs with regard to cargo handling operations, examination and shipment of cargo in the territory of the Khairaton Station on the border with Uzbekistan, averting possible loss of goods along the traffic, as well as a reliable protection of the bridge itself over the Amudarya River.
On all these and other problem issues the necessary consultations and negotiations are being held to ensure their timely resolution.
At the moment, it is practically completed the signing of 8 Agreements with NATO, the United States, Germany, Great Britain, France and others on the return transit of non-lethal goods and ISAF personnel.
We have all grounds to assert that Uzbekistan will certainly fulfill its commitments on the transit of non-lethal goods from Afghanistan. (Source: Press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan)