During his foreign tour to Uzbekistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday has urged the Taliban to show clear signs that they were committed to reducing violence and promoting peace in Afghanistan.
At a press briefing, Pompeo said, “What we are demanding now (of the Taliban) is demonstrable evidence of their will and capacity to reduce violence, to take down the threat, so the inter-Afghan talks will have a less violent context”.
Pompeo recalled that US authorities and the Taliban had been on the verge of reaching an agreement but that the Afghan militant group “weren’t able to demonstrate either their will or their capacity, or both, to deliver on a reduction in violence”.
The goal of peace and stability will need to be achieved via “negotiations of, by and among the Afghans”, the top diplomat added.
Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said his country was engaged in the process of peaceful reconciliation in the neighbouring Afghanistan “because it touches on our lives and the national interest and interest of the security of our state”.
On Monday, the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan met Pompeo in Tashkent under the C5+1 framework and addressed the situation in Afghanistan, security issues and regional cooperation.
The C5+1 was launched in November 2015 with the aim of addressing common security and environmental challenges, improving regional trade flows and enhancing prospects for US trade and investment with the Central Asian nations, whose neighbours include China, Iran, Russia and Afghanistan.
Pompeo’s visit to Uzbekistan wrapped up a multi-day foreign tour which also took him to the UK, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
On January 31, Pompeo arrived in Kiev on his trip to Ukraine, the country at the heart of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
The visit was scheduled for early January but then delayed because of Middle East tensions, is expected to highlight US support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia-backed separatists, but also in its efforts to root out corruption.
On Thursday, Pompeo visited London to strengthen ties between the countries, one day before the UK began negotiating its future trade relationship with the European Union.
(With inputs from agency)