Uzbekistan thinks ISAF troop withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for late 2014 too early

Uzbekistan thinks ISAF troop withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for late 2014 too early

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, May 22

By Demir Azizov- Trend:

Uzbek President Islam Karimov considers ISAF troop withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for late 2014 as too early.

"As for the withdrawal of peacekeeping forces from Afghanistan, the situation in this country shows that, obviously, it is necessary to postpone the deadline for troop withdrawal, initially scheduled for late 2014," President Karimov was quoted on May 22 by the national news agency (UzA) at the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

In his speech, the Uzbek leader stressed his vision for the development prospects of neighboring Afghanistan.

"Today one can say with certainty that all parties interested in solving the Afghan crisis agree on one thing," he said. "There is no military solution to achieve peace in Afghanistan."

"The only sensible way is the way to find a political solution to the problem through peaceful negotiations and consensus between the warring parties, to form the government, where the representatives of the country's major national and ethnic groups could be represented."

The head of the state stressed that as a country bordering Afghanistan, Uzbekistan adheres to the principal policy of non-interference in its internal affairs, organization of bilateral cooperation and support for the government to be elected by the Afghans themselves.

He expressed hope that the second stage of the presidential elections in Afghanistan will be held at the proper level, which will pave the way for Afghanistan's long-suffering people to a more civilized life.

"Our country considers it counterproductive to set any preconditions for the contracting parties. These preconditions can not only bring down the negotiation process, but also re-escalate the tension and confrontation, which is unacceptable," the president said.

The president of Uzbekistan visited China to meet with the country's president Xi Jinping and attend the meeting of the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

Edited by C.N.

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