Uzbekistan's Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov on July 4 met in Tashkent with an Afghan delegation led by Minister of Commerce and Industry, Haji  Nooriddin Azizi.

A statement released by Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade (MoIFT) says the parties discussed issues related trade and economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan as well as prospects in investment, transport and logistics spheres.

Uzbekistan and Afghanistan reportedly agreed to prepare proposals to increase bilateral trade and the volume of cargo shipment.

The parties, in particular, discussed measures to implement that project aimed at constructing a rail link connecting the Uzbek city of Termez and the Pakistani city of Peshawar through the Afghan cities of Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul.

They reportedly discussed the practical aspects of the organization of field research along the route of the railway in the second half of July.  

Uzbekistan expressed readiness to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, according to the statement.

It is to be noted that Uzbekistan, which shares a 160-kilometer border with Afghanistan, showed its readiness to talk and do business with the Taliban just a month after the Taliban had seized control over almost all of Afghanistan.  However, Uzbekistan is not ready to recognize Taliban regime in Afghanistan.