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Kazakh Delegation Visits Kabul To Discuss Trade, Cooperation With Taliban

Kazakh Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov led the delegation in the Afghan capital. (file photo)

A Kazakh delegation led by Trade and Integration Minister Bakhyt Sultanov visited Kabul on December 25 to discuss trade, transit routes, and other economic cooperation as well as political ties with the Taliban-led government, Afghan media reported.

The Taliban’s acting minister of industry and commerce, Nooruddin Azizi, said that efforts were under way to establish a mutual chamber of commerce between the two countries.

The two sides discussed the resumption of direct flights, Azizi added without providing further details.

Sultanov was quoted as saying that Kazakhstan was also interested in expanding trade through Afghanistan to South Asia.

Sultanov also met with the Taliban’s acting deputy prime minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, and the acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi.

The Kazakh delegation brought 500 kilos of medical products for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Sultanov said that the next aid packages from Kazakhstan will arrive in Afghanistan by ground.

Kazakh government officials have visited Kabul several times since the hard-line Taliban group took control of Afghanistan in August.

On one of these visits in October, the Kazakh delegation said that Kazakhstan delivered 5,000 tons of flour and other humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and also offered to provide its domestically-developed QazVac vaccine against COVID-19.

Kazakhstan and fellow Central Asian countries Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have also been in talks with the Taliban about future projects connecting Central Asia to South Asia through Afghanistan.

None of the Central Asian states, however, have signaled their readiness to officially recognize the Taliban government.

Based on reporting by and