President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has taken part in the session of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of the Heads of State. Following is the text of Uzbek President’s speech at the extended meeting in that summit.
Distinguished Heads of State!
Esteemed participants of this session!
First and foremost, allow me to extend my sincere respect to the leaders of SCO member nations, heads of delegations of observer states and the guests invited to this summit meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratefulness to President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for the warm hospitality and the good organization of our current meeting.
I join the evaluations of SCO activities for the past period, offered here by the heads of state. We have every reason today to assert that Shanghai Cooperation Organization has within a relatively short span of time turned into an influential international institution that plays a noticeable role in world politics. Owing to the joint efforts of member states as well as observer nations, we have continued to work together to maintain peace and security in the region, combat terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking and other challenges and threats emerging today in the light of the mounting confrontation and tension in various corners of the world.
I would like to make special mention of the tremendous work undertaken at the level of the Council of National Coordinators, the Session of Security Council Secretaries and experts of the SCO.
Dear Heads of State!
Making use of this opportunity, I would like to dwell very briefly on following issues.
The situation unfolding today in Afghanistan is characterized with permanent instability and has a tendency toward deterioration. One can say with confidence that all the sides interested in addressing the Afghan crisis share one conviction, that is, it is impossible to achieve peace in Afghanistan by military means.
For the war years in the country, a whole generation of Afghans has grown up, who lack any idea as to what a peaceful life is. As the June presidential elections in Afghanistan have demonstrated, the Afghan people have got exhausted of the endless bloodshed and violence, the long-standing misery and destruction, and today they long for peace and stability, strive to have a right to determine their future by their own.
At the same time, procrastination of the process of vote recount and of promulgation of presidential election results in Afghanistan and hence the delay in the inauguration of the new head of state causes great alarm with regard to Afghanistan’s stable future.
Developments as such can shake the internal situation in the country once and for all; trigger a real threat to national security and the prospects of peaceful resolution of the confrontation in Afghanistan; impede the achievement of consensus in negotiations and the formation of a coalition government, which would be represented by all the conflicting parties and the ethnic-religious groups of Afghanistan.
We should be aware of the fact that the withdrawal of international security assistance forces from Afghanistan can lead to mounting threats and growing instability, expanding terrorist and extremist activities as well as increasing scales of drug trafficking not merely in the wider Central Asian region, but also far beyond its rims.
Amid the developments we are witnessing, any vacuum emergent in Afghanistan can within a short period of time be filled by various destructive and terrorist groups.
In this unpredictable environment one cannot rule out attempts by certain political forces and states supporting them to sow chaos and depreciate the situation in Afghanistan to an even greater extent. In a nutshell, the developments taking place in Iraq can repeat themselves [in Afghanistan].
Uzbekistan builds and will continue to build steady and friendly relations with Afghanistan deriving from the national interests of both countries and exclusively on the bilateral basis, by providing support to a government that the Afghans will elect on their own.
Examining the state of affairs unfolding in world economy, we have every reason to believe that the grave consequences of the international financial-economic crisis have been far from being overcome to a full extent.
Without any doubt, trends as such are reflected directly or indirectly on the situation and development dynamics in all the SCO participating nations.
Amid these circumstances, the challenge of further enhancement of cooperation in the implementation of wide-scale projects in the economy, investments and transport communications that would cater to the interests of the region’s countries has been acquiring a special urgency in order to secure sustainable socio-economic development in the organization’s member nations and to make tangible, practical achievements.
We assign a decisive role in addressing these tasks to the initiative put forward by the People’s Republic of China and its President Xi Jinping to create “an economic belt of the Silk Road”, designed to assist the promotion of long-term economic interests of all the nations of the region, especially in the part concerning the development of a trans-regional transport infrastructure, the substantial upsurge in the geopolitical and economic potential of not only its participants, but also of the entire Central Asia.
Very briefly I would like to convey our views and reflections on the resolution of crisis in Ukraine.
First. We welcome the agreements reached in Minsk on a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian quagmire, and we support proposals and initiatives of Ukraine and Russia on this issue.
Second. I am convinced that the proposals of Uzbekistan expressed initially as early as 4 March 2014 that the ultimate and most effective resolution of the emergent problem is the organization of a direct negotiations process between Ukraine and Russia directed at ceasing the confrontation in Ukraine and achieving peace in the country, remain imperative and find their confirmation event today.
Third. In any negotiations processes on the Ukrainian crisis, the ages-old interests of Russia that have evolved historically throughout many centuries should also be taken into account.
Ignoring these interests would be a serious oversight.
Taking this opportunity, allow me to congratulate the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on the presidency in the SCO for the next period and wish every success in the realization of this responsible mission.
Thank you for your attention.