Uzbekistan ready to host talks between Afghan govt & Taliban

Tashkent offered on Tuesday to host peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. The move could make Uzbekistan a player in settling the decades-long conflict in the neighboring country, Reuters said. “We stand ready to create all necessary conditions, at any stage of the peace process, to arrange on the territory of Uzbekistan direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement,” President Shavkat Mirziyoyev told a conference in Tashkent, which was attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, along with foreign ministers from Russia, China and Turkey, also attended the Tashkent conference, but there were no Taliban representatives. Achieving stable peace in Afghanistan will only be possible through constructive dialogue between the country’s government and the Taliban, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.