Uzbekistan proposes to establish contact group on Afghanistan

While speaking in the general debate of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov called for establishing a contact group on Afghanistan under the UN auspices.

According to the UN News Center, Uzbek Foreign Minister said that difficult problems can arise in connection with the forthcoming withdrawal of peacekeeping forces from Afghanistan by late 2014 and transferring the responsibility to the newly established Afghan security forces to ensure the stability in the country.

He said that these events may lead to increased confrontation between opposing forces in Afghanistan and around it, extremism and radicalism, further increase of drug trafficking, raising tensions in the whole region.

"The most appropriate way of solving the Afghan problem in the current situation is to establish a contact group under the UN auspices with the participation of Afghanistan's neighbors - the U.S., NATO and Russia," he said.

He stressed that achieving a compromise and agreement among the hostile forces and forming a coalition government, representing the major ethno-national and religious groups of Afghanistan involved in the military-political confrontation are the main objective.

An Uzbek representative drew attention to the growing shortage of fresh water.

"We are deeply convinced that all water and energy issues must be considered in accordance with the generally recognized rules of international law which require the principles of not causing harm to the environment and the interests of the neighboring countries," the Minister said.

According to the international standards, it is necessary to clearly determine the priorities in water use. Limited water resources in the region should, first of all, be used for drinking and sanitary needs, and then to ensure food security, environmental needs and the needs of industry and energy, the minister said.