16 Mar 2018 18:07

Tashkent to host C5+1 ministerial meeting day before conference on Afghanistan

TASHKENT. March 16 (Interfax) - The first ministerial meeting in the Central Asia + Afghanistan (C5+1) format will be held in Tashkent on March 26, on the eve of an international conference on Afghanistan to address the peace process, security cooperation, and regional interaction, the press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The foreign ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan and the heads of the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), who supported talks in this format, are expected to participate in the meeting.

"The ministers are expected to discuss key issues in ensuring security in the region, boosting multilateral trade and economic, investment, cultural, and humanitarian ties and regional integration processes, and the prospects of creating transnational transport corridors," the press service said.

"The work of this format (C5+1) will facilitate the successful integration of Afghanistan into the system of trade and economic and infrastructure ties with Central Asian countries and the efficient implementation of concrete projects and general regional programs," it said.

Following the meeting, a joint statement is expected to be issued to formalize the agreements reached, including on upcoming inter-state contacts at various levels and on the date of the next meeting.

The conference will convene in Tashkent on March 27. It was proposed by Uzbekistan and Afghanistan during the debates on Central Asia and Afghanistan at the UN Security Council in January.