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Uzbekistan welcomes results of Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan — top diplomat

Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov noted Uzbekistan, like Russia, called for unfreezing the Afghanistan's assets kept in Western, American banks

TASHKENT, October 22. /TASS/. Uzbekistan welcomes the results of the Moscow-format consultations on Afghanistan, Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov told Russian journalists on Friday.

"I have already voiced our very positive assessment of the results of the recent meeting in the Moscow format. Our positions are similar in most cases. It creates a good basis for our bilateral cooperation with Russia on the Afghan problem," he said.

According to the Uzbek top diplomat, his country calls for unfreezing Afghanistan’s financial assets with foreign banks that were blocked after the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) came to power in Afghanistan." Like Russia, we call for unfreezing the assets kept in Western, American banks, because winter is coming and the priority task for Afghanistan now is to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe," Kamliov stressed.

The Moscow format was established in 2017 on the basis of the six-lateral mechanism of consultations between Russian, Afghan, Indian, Iranian, Chinese, and Pakistani special envoys. The third meeting in this format was held in Moscow on Wednesday. The Russian foreign ministry said after the consultations that the participants agreed on the importance of forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. On September 6, the Taliban said they had taken control of the entire country and announced a new interim government the following day. The government is formed by Taliban members only, who mostly represent the biggest ethnic group in Afghanistan, the Pashtun.

Following this, many countries said that such a government could not be considered as inclusive and called on the Taliban to include delegates from ethnic and religious minorities, as well as women into it.