Uzbekistan Holds Talks With Taliban On Trade, Energy, Railway Projects

Uzbekistan Holds Talks With Taliban On Trade, Energy, Railway Projects

Uzbek officials have met with representatives of Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government to discuss cooperation in trade, border security, and humanitarian aid, Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry said, RFE reports.

The Taliban delegation -- led by the hard-line Islamist group's acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi -- arrived for the talks in the Uzbek border town of Termez on October 16. The Uzbek delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister Sardor Umurzakov, who also is the Central Asian country’s investments and foreign trade minister.

The discussions included "issues of trade and economic interaction, ensuring border security, cooperation in the field of energy, international cargo transportation, and transit,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The construction of a railway connecting Termez to the Pakistani city of Peshawar via Afghanistan’s Mazar-e Sharif and the capital, Kabul, was also high on the agenda of the meeting, the statement said.

The TOLOnews agency quoted Hanafi as saying that the Taliban delegation included officials from the ministries of economy, trade, higher education, public health, and the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority, as well as a number of businessmen.

The delegation returned to Kabul on the same day.

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