The second Central Asia-European Union leaders’ meeting’s participants expressed concern about the situation in Afghanistan in their closing statement, while also highlighting the stability and growth of this country.
Speaking at the meeting, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, called for the establishment of inclusive government, respect for human rights, especially the right to education and work for women and girls in Afghanistan.
“In Central Asia, you also face security threats from Afghanistan. And we share the same concerns. We appreciate the special insights that your countries have into the situation. It is important for all of us to have a stable and peaceful Afghanistan with an inclusive government that ensures human rights,” Michel said.
Meanwhile, Imam Ali Rahman, the President of Tajikistan, warned that Afghanistan, particularly its northern provinces, has transformed into a breeding ground for international terrorism.
Addressing the second meeting of the leaders of Central Asia and the European Union, he emphasized the need to strengthen the border protection between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
In the meeting, Sadyr Japarov, the President of Kyrgyzstan, supported regular meetings in the Central Asia–European Union format within the framework of the High-level Dialogue on Politics and Security, as well as meetings of CA-EU special representatives on Afghanistan.
He expressed hope that the authorities in Kabul will be able to come to a consensus with the international community on a number of issues on the regional and international agenda so that this country can integrate into the system of full-fledged regional economic cooperation.
Touching on the concern of the world community on the issue of women’s rights to education and work in Afghanistan, Japarov called for addressing this issue through setting an example, persuasion, and constructive dialogue with the new Afghan authorities and avoiding excessive pressure.
The issue of terrorism and threats from Afghanistan was the common concern of the participants of this meeting.
“We always stand for Central Asia to be the area of peace and progress, productively cooperating with all the regions and countries. Stable development of our multifaceted partnership with the European Union directly depends on the security and stability in the region, including the situation in Afghanistan,” Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said at the meeting.
Some of the participants of this meeting asked the international community not to reduce the amount of their aid to the people of Afghanistan.
“The Afghan problem is our focus. Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly. According to the United Nations, currently millions of Afghans are on the brink of survival. In this regard, we urge our partners not to reduce the volume of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. We are ready to continue to provide for these purposes the use of logistics hub in Termez,” said the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
However, the Islamic Emirate calls the security concerns of neighboring countries and the region in Afghanistan baseless.
The Islamic Emirate’s deputy spokesperson, Bilal Karimi, said that Afghanistan’s territory does not pose a threat to any other nation, and human rights concerns and the country’s structure of the system are internal issues that will be resolved in accordance with Islamic law and Sharia.
“The structure of the system and other issues that you mentioned are related to the people of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate should make a decision in the framework of the interests of the country in accordance with Islamic values,” Karimi noted.
“Specific demands have been made of the current government in Kazakhstan, Samarkand, and during the visit of the Prime Minister of Qatar to Kandahar, and to resolve the impasse; change must come from within Afghanistan,” said political analyst Tariq Farhadi.
The participants of Central Asia-European Union leaders’ meeting emphasized the need to continue holding such meetings on Afghanistan.