Uzbekistan to send delegation to Afghanistan for negotiations on Qosh Tepa canal water

By Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent October 19, 2023

Uzbekistan is forming a government delegation that will visit Afghanistan by the end of the year to hold talks on the Qosh Tepa Canal that will draw water from the Amu Darya border river, governor of Surkhandarya region Ulugbek Kosimov told

Kosimov noted that although the canal was being built from a point on Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan, it would have an impact on all countries of the river basin. The Amu Darya flows from the location in Tajikistan along Afghanistan's frontier with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

"So far they [Afghanistan] have not opened the canal... Construction work ... has not been completed. However, whether you like it or not, there will be an impact on [the volume of water available to the Central Asian countries], there will be a reduction. This development will also require large funds… Before that, the issue will be considered at the government level," Kosimov said.

During the expected negotiations, the issue of water distribution would certainly be on the agenda, he stressed. Now the date of the visit was being agreed, with letters sent to the Afghan side, the governor added.

On September 15, Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, noted at a summit of the leaders of the founding countries of the Aral Sea Rescue Fund: "A new participant in the water use process has appeared in our region, which is not bound by any obligations with our countries."

The commissioning of the Qosh Tepa canal "can radically change the water regime and balance in Central Asia," he said, suggesting "forming a joint working group to study all aspects of the construction of the Qosh Tepa and its impact on the water regime of the Amu Darya."

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