Blinken discusses Afghan peace with Uzbek, Tajik counterparts
Washington DC [US],: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday discussed peace and cooperation in Afghanistan with his Uzbek and Tajik counterparts during separate bilateral meetings in Washington.
"The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister (Abdulaziz Kamilov) for Uzbekistan's continued support for a just and durable peace settlement in Afghanistan. He also welcomed Uzbekistan's focus on regional connectivity, including closer political and economic cooperation with Afghanistan in ways that would support prosperity and growth across Central and South Asia," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
In a separate meeting with Tajik Foreign Minister Muhriddin, Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the strength and importance of the US-Tajikistan bilateral ties and expressed his appreciation for Muhriddin's continued leadership on regional security issues.
Blinken and the Tajik Foreign Minister agreed that a just and durable settlement in Afghanistan would advance regional economic growth and integration, the State Department said.
"The Secretary expressed a desire for further bilateral collaboration on promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as economic development, and affirmed the U.S. commitment to Tajikistan's security, stability, and territorial integrity," the statement added.
Tajik Foreign Minister likewise agreed that a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan would advance integration and economic growth in the region, Sputnik reported.
According to the state department, Blinken expressed a desire to further human rights, freedom, and economic development in Central Asia, including through the C5+1 diplomatic platform.
Back in April, Blinken hosted a virtual C5+1 Ministerial for the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan today. The C5+1 aims to enhance cooperation and coordination with, and among, Central Asian countries plus the US. (ANI)