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July 16 in Tashkent “on the sidelines” of the International Conference “Central Asia – South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities ”, the fourth meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov with the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan took place.

The focus was on the topic of security in the region, primarily in the context of the degrading situation in neighboring Afghanistan. The ministers exchanged assessments of the evolving situation, approaches to stimulating an inter-Afghan settlement in the new geopolitical realities associated with the withdrawal of US troops and a number of other NATO member states from this country. Following the discussion, it was adopted joint statement on the situation in Afghanistan (posted on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry).

Common approaches have been reaffirmed with regard to threats posed by international terrorist organizations, illegal drug trafficking, and foreign terrorist fighters who are pulling towards Afghanistan from the war zones in the Middle East and North Africa. The importance of maintaining joint coordinated work at the highest level in order to minimize the negative impact of these risks on the security of our countries was noted.

Discussion of other important topics related to the international and regional agendas was meaningful: measures to ensure global strategic stability, the state of integration processes with the participation of the countries of the region, and environmental cooperation. In this regard, attention is paid to interaction for the efficient use of water resources in Central Asia.

The situation with the COVID-19 pandemic was considered, as well as the measures taken to increase the resilience of our countries in the context of the undulating development of the epidemic situation.

The participants of the meeting expressed their gratitude to the Uzbek side for the hospitality and comfortable conditions that contributed to their productive work, and confirmed their interest on a regular basis to continue a useful reconciliation of positions in the six-party format.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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