Taliban journey from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan for talks

ISLAMABAD (AP) – In a uncommon diplomatic foray and the strongest signal but of the Taliban’s rising political presence within the area, the top of the militant group’s political workplace led a delegation to Uzbekistan to satisfy senior Foreign Ministry officers, Uzbek and Taliban officers stated Saturday.

Taliban political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai represented the insurgents within the four-day talks that ended Friday and included conferences with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov in addition to its particular consultant to Afghanistan Ismatilla Irgashev.

The conferences observe a proposal made by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in March to dealer peace in Afghanistan.

Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban’s political workplace in Qatar, stated in an announcement to The Associated Press that discussions lined every thing from worldwide troop withdrawal to peace prospects to attainable Uzbek-funded improvement tasks that would embrace railway traces and electrical energy.

Shaheen stated Uzbek officers mentioned their safety considerations surrounding the event tasks.

“Taliban also exchanged views with the Uzbek officials about the withdrawal of the foreign troops and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” he stated within the assertion.

Uzbek’s Foreign Affairs Ministry web site provided a terse announcement on the go to saying “the perimeters exchanged views on prospects of the peace course of in Afghanistan. “

Still, the conferences are important coming because the Taliban ramps up stress on Afghanistan’s Security Forces with relentless and lethal assaults and Washington holds preliminary talks with the insurgents in an try to discover a negotiated finish to Afghanistan’s protracted battle.

The Taliban have gained rising consideration from Russia in addition to Uzbekistan, who view the insurgency as a bulwark towards the unfold of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan. The United States has accused Moscow of giving weapons to the Taliban.

Still, Andrew Wilder, vice chairman of Asia applications on the U.S. Institute of Peace stated Washington would welcome a “constructive” Russian function find a approach towards a peace pact in Afghanistan.

“What wouldn’t be helpful would be if the Uzbek efforts to facilitate lines of communication with the Taliban are not closely coordinated with the Afghan government,” he stated.

“High profile talks by foreign governments with the Taliban that exclude the Afghan government risk providing too much legitimacy to the Taliban without getting much in return,” Wilder stated.

There was no rapid remark from the Afghan authorities, however neither the Taliban nor the Uzbek international ministry assertion talked about the Afghan authorities.

For Uzbekistan, the IS presence is especially worrisome as lots of of its fighters are former members of the novel Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a declared terrorist group thought of the architect of among the extra horrific assaults carried out by IS in Afghanistan.

Last yr, there have been stories that the son of Tahir Yuldashev, the highly effective Uzbek chief of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, who was killed in a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan in 2009, was main efforts to assist broaden IS affect in Afghanistan.

Last week, Afghan safety forces reportedly rescued scores of Afghan Uzbeks who had declared their allegiance to IS once they got here underneath assault by Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan not removed from the border with Uzbekistan. The rescued Uzbek warriors declared they’d be a part of the peace course of. Most of these rescued have been Afghan Uzbeks loyal to Afghanistan’s Vice President Rashid Dostum who had gone over to IS after Dostum fell out with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and fled to Turkey in May final yr.

Coincidentally their rescue from the Taliban got here simply days after Dostum returned to Afghanistan and reconciled with Ghani’s authorities.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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