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Kyrgyzstan Backs Afghan-Led Peace Process: FM

Afghan Minister of Counter-Narcotics Osmani briefs the media during the Third Paris Pact Ministerial Conference in Vienna

KABUL – Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan on Sunday signed three agreements on cooperation on diplomatic and political fronts and dealing with natural disasters. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart ErlanAbdyldaev, Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Usmani said a joint technical team would be created to enhance economic relations between the two countries. But he stopped short of going into details about the agreements.

Usmani said he had discussed with the visiting foreign minister the proposed railroad stretching from Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and called on him to pave the ground for Afghan students to pursue higher studies in his country. For his part, Abdyldaev said Kyrgyzstan wanted to open an embassy in Kabul in 2002, but could not do so due some reservations at home.

However, Kyrgyzstan opened its embassy in Kabul on Saturday. Abdyldaev said both countries had common goals in the region and should work jointly to achieve them. He said his country was ready to assist Afghanistan in areas of health, agriculture and education. The foreign minister said Kyrgyzstan was supportive of an Afghan-led reconciliation process and would support every effort that ends up in Afghanistan’s interest.

Usmani said negotiations on the bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the US were ongoing and the deal would be signed once the talks concluded.  “Affairs concerning the BSA are taken forward in line with Loya Jirga’s decision so as the deal is acceptable to the people of both nations. Afghanistan needs US support,” Usmani said. (PAN)

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