Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar and his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov in a meeting in Tashkent agreed on a power transmission contract that will be later signed by Afghan officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday.
“The two sides agreed on the signing of a power transmission agreement between Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat and the Uzbek Ministry of Energy, as well as expanding cooperation in trade and transport. Besides, the two sides discussed the importance of reconciliation in Afghanistan and the role of Uzbekistan in promoting peace and building regional consensus,” the statement said.
"We hope that this historic trip will further enhance political and economic cooperation between the two countries and strengthen our relations in the fields of trade, transport, electricity, and energy." MoFA quoted Kamilov as saying.
According to the statement, Kamilov emphasized Uzbekistan's support for an Afghan- led and owned peace process and the position of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the statement said.
"We hope to see the immediate start of negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban,” he said.
The statement also said: “Mr. Atmar thanked Uzbekistan for its support of the peace process and the position of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, informing Mr. Kamilov about the need for an early start of peace talks, preservation of the Islamic Republic and the achievements of the past 19 years to ensure a lasting peace.”
Atmar assured his Uzbek counterpart that Afghan leadership had a strong will to strengthen and expand relations with Uzbekistan.
"We want to improve political, economic and cultural relations with our friendly neighboring country, Uzbekistan,” added Atmar.
This comes after angers erupted in Kabul in late July over the shortage of power in the city after Tajikistan decided to cut off its power to Afghanistan over domestic needs.
Tajikistan provided 310 megawatts of power to Kabul, but it has stopped the electricity supply to Afghanistan due to its internal needs and lack of water, Afghan officials said at the time.
Later on, the country’s power distributor, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), said about 200 megawatts of power has been imported from Uzbekistan to replace the shortage.