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Uzbek, Afghan Foreign Ministries Pledge To Improve Ties


Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta (file photo) (epa) December 1, 2006 -- Official news reports from Tashkent say the foreign ministers of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan have vowed to strengthen cooperation between their respective administrations and consult regularly on regional security issues.


Vladimir Norov and Rangin Dadfar Spanta signed a memorandum to that effect in Tashkent today.


Spanta is on a three-day visit to Uzbekistan for talks that regional media say aim to discuss Tashkent's participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.


Uzbekistan last month pledged to help its southern neighbor with power supplies.


The Afghan Foreign Ministry on November 30 said that to mark Spanta's visit, Uzbek authorities had released 12 Afghan prisoners from custody.


Whether they were freed under the much larger amnesty that the Uzbek Senate voted that same day is unclear.


Spanta is due to travel to the historic Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara before returning to Afghanistan on December 3.


(UzReport, mfa.gov.af)

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