Today, IEA-Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with a high-level delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Mr. Baxtiyor Saidov

The meeting focused on in-depth discussions regarding bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, transit and transport including bilateral relations.Welcoming the Uzbek Foreign Minister on his first visit to Afghanistan following assuming the office, FM Muttaqi said that visits of the delegation on different stack between the two countries shows the close relations between the two countries.FM Muttaqi expressed hope that bilateral relations will be further enhanced by upgrading the diplomatic presence at Afghan embassy in Tashkent, adding that the trade between the two countries is increasing, and expressed hope that more facilities will be provided thereof.Urging to facilitate visa issuance process to Afghan businessmen and transport personnel, FM Muttaqi said that both countries should make concerted efforts to facilitate transit further. Also, highlighting on the shortage of electricity imported from Uzbekistan, FM Muttaqi said that the shortage of electricity in the winter season creates problems for both the ordinary people and the industrial class of our the country, and urged to address the issues of the shortage of electricity.Terming his visit to Afghanistan important, the Uzbek Foreign Minister called his visit as a new chapter in bilateral relations.Commending the existing security situation, FM Baxtiyor Saidov expressed satisfaction with the security of the shared border of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, deeming the coordination of the concerned bodies of the two countries important in this regard.FM Saidov said that his country has always supported Afghanistan in international forums and emphasised that Afghanistan should be a part of the international community. He said that Uzbekistan considers Afghanistan as a part of Central Asia, and Afghanistan holds great importance for the development of central Asian countries.Mr. Saidov said that the issue of visa issuance to businessmen and drivers is being taken into consideration, which is important for the development of bilateral trade.FM Baxtiyor Saidov said that Uzbekistan desires to invest in Afghanistan in the fields of cement production, coal extraction and coal-based electricity generation. Additionally, he said that investment in these areas can help Afghan Trans-railway in the territory of Afghanistan. Mr. Saidov said, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan enjoy mutual interests in the region, hence, it is necessary to have close cooperation.In the end, Mr. Saidov invited Mr. Muttaqi to visit Uzbekistan, which will happen at appropriate time in the future.