US President Donald Trump met his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev late Wednesday at the White House and discussed regional security including stability in Afghanistan.
At the meeting, Trump noted the historic partnership of the United States with Uzbekistan in the fight against terrorism. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Uzbekistan provided critical access and support to drive al-Qaeda from Afghanistan.
During his visit, Mirziyoyev reaffirmed his full support for Trump's South Asia strategy and discussed Uzbekistan's initiatives to strengthen bilateral cooperation, share burdens, and address regional security issues, including stability in Afghanistan.
The US administration hopes that Uzbekistan will be useful in fostering peace in Afghanistan, where American troops are helping government forces fight both the Taliban and Daesh.
Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent has been floated as a potential location for a meeting between Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban. Leaders of around 20 countries met in Tashkent in March and publicly gave their support for Afghanistan's government to negotiate with the Taliban.
Leaders of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan recently signed a stack of trade agreements.
Both Trump and Mirziyoyev condemned cowardly terrorist attacks against Afghanistan security forces and innocent civilians and committed to expanding dialogue to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan.
Trump recognized the important role that Uzbekistan plays in regional economic development and praised Uzbekistan's efforts to expand the development of trade and commercial ties with Afghanistan. He offered political support and planning consultations regarding Uzbekistan's railroad and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan.
Mirziyoyev assured continued support for the Northern Distribution Network and its contribution to achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The United States and Uzbekistan cooperate closely to secure the border with Afghanistan and to interdict the illicit movement of narcotics. The two leaders condemned extremism and international terrorism, and vowed to strengthen cooperation against these common threats.
They also committed to pursue agreements that will enhance interoperability and improve regional security, and noted the importance of strengthening the defense relationship by implementing the first-ever Five-Year Plan of Military Cooperation.