Major events of the summit meeting took place October 16.
Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States discussed the prospects of cooperation within the framework of the organization and exchanged views on the pressing issues in regional and international affairs.
Interaction in the security realm received special emphasis during the highest-level session.
The President of Uzbekistan stressed in particular the appropriateness and timeliness of the CIS summit in view of the growing tension and swiftly changing situation in the near and extended environs.
Of particular concern is the mounting threat of radicalism, terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, as well as the escalating magnitude of conflicts and confrontations. Grave anxiety arises also over the enduring global financial and economic crisis and the socio-economic circumstances in the Commonwealth nations.
According to the head of our state, amid these rather intricate developments, any meetings and exchanges of views, joint search of solutions to the quite alarming situation can only be of use.
Speaking of the importance of the summit, Islam Karimov stressed the positive and significant role the CIS continues to play. The meeting is in demand that is dictated by life itself, by the prospects of our common development.
“In the Commonwealth, we see an institution that provides extensive opportunities to maintain direct interstate dialogue, to swap opinions and discuss current issues, address disputes and disagreements between the parties, building on the mutual interests and the potent normative base as well as the worked-out instruments and mechanisms of interaction. The CIS serves as a vital platform to elaborate mutually acceptable approaches, coordinated practical measures for the active use of the existing potential in the field of trade and economic cooperation, in preempting and countering extremist activities and, what is crucial, to maintain communication among citizens in the post-Soviet space and address everyday issues,” the President of Uzbekistan insisted.
The most critical factor in the importance of the CIS, according to Islam Karimov, is the consolidation of cooperation in the field of transport communications and transit by providing mutual benefits and preferences. It is equally essential for the implementation of a coherent and effective tariff policy, as well as the design and development of new mutually advantageous transport routes.
At the same time, as the leader of our country underscored, one has to point out that with the emergence of other interstate entities in the post-Soviet space, the agenda of meetings of the Council of the Heads of State and other statutory bodies of the CIS is in most cases of a general, framework character, and the issues included in it by no means have any relation to the developments unfolding today in the Commonwealth; in fact, the issues raised are cut off from reality.
Uzbekistan’s President cited the current meeting as a fresh example to the argument, the session whose agenda was over-burdened by trifling issues in diverse areas of multilateral interaction, namely, appeals, setting up of coordination commissions, information on the execution of previous decisions, etc. And the solution offered in this situation is that each of these intergovernmental organizations, the CIS and the Eurasian [Economic] Union should have their own agendas and programs of action, and that they should not replace or duplicate each other, in short, they ought to complement each other.
Islam Karimov expounded also on the assessment of the state of affairs in Afghanistan with direct relevance to our region.
The current situation in that country, where the fratricidal war has been going on for more than 35 years, can be described as a sluggish confrontation of the warring parties. Recent developments in the border city of Kunduz showed a complete lack of coordination and inaction of the government in contrast to the organized vigorous action of the Taliban, resulting in the capture of the town by the latter for a few days.
President Islam Karimov stressed that deep concern and anxiety is caused also by the regrouping of gang units from southern to northern and north-eastern Afghanistan, along with the mounting tension in border areas. Latest attempts to conquer certain parts of the country by the Taliban indicates that the movement still wields considerable capabilities. Meanwhile, the Afghan armed forces are not yet able to confront the Taliban on their own, while the government has been incapable of controlling the security situation in the nation.
In view of the current processes in place in Afghanistan and wary of the bitter experience of Iraq, a growing number of analysts are inclined to advocate increasing the number of ISAF troops, whose presence should be extended for several more years. And there is every good reason for that.
Nevertheless, no matter how the developments unfold in Afghanistan, there is no other solution to the Afghan quandary – in our firm conviction – but peace negotiations, political negotiations and search for compromise between the warring sides under the auspices of the United Nations. There is simply no other way out, the head of our state persisted.
At the end of his speech, Islam Karimov congratulated the Kyrgyz Republic on the assumption of presidency in the CIS and wished President Almazbek Atambaev every success in carrying out this important duty.