Asia - Pacific

‘Formal' Uzbek reception for Taliban irks Afghan gov’t

Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Baradar on Thursday visited Uzbekistan, met Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kemalov

Shadi Khan Saif   | 10.08.2019
‘Formal' Uzbek reception for Taliban irks Afghan gov’t

KABUL, Afghanistan  

Afghanistan on Saturday expressed disapproval for the nature of "formal reception" Uzbekistan gave to the Taliban's deputy chief earlier this week.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Afghanistan has always welcomed international and regional cooperation, particularly that of the neighboring countries in the peace.

“However, the formal reception of the Taliban representatives and the dynamics of the talks (in Tashkent earlier this week) do not demonstrate as facilitating peace talks between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Taliban representatives, by the Republic of Uzbekistan”, it said.

The statement called on all countries, particularly Afghanistan’s neighbors, to respect the leadership and ownership of the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the peace process.

On Thursday, Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation of the Taliban led by their deputy leader Mullah Baradar Akhund.

Taliban chief was received by Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kemalov during his visit.

“The head of the political office of the Taliban (Mullah Baradar) movement supported holding the next round of intra-Afghan dialogue in Samarkand”, it said.

The Taliban -- who are busy with the eight round of talks with the U.S. in the Qatari capital Doha -- continue to undermine the Kabul government and insist that after a proposed deal with the Americans, the “intra-Afghan” peace dialogue with the Afghans would begin in which the government officials can participate only in personal capacity and not represent the government.

This remains the bone of contention in the rejuvenated yet fragile peace process in the war-ravaged country.

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