Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to launch ‘Silk Visa’ program in February


TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan aim to launch a program dubbed Silk Visa, which will allow foreigners with visas issued by either of the two countries to travel in both Central Asian republics, RFE/RL reported citing an Uzbek official.

Acting First Deputy Chairman of the Uzbek State Committee for Tourism, Ulugbek Qosimhojaev, told reporters in Tashkent last week that the goal of the program is to boost tourism in the region.

Qosimhojaev also said that two other Central Asian nations, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, had expressed interest in joining the program in future.

Kazakhstan said earlier that it was working to attract Azerbaijan and Turkey to join the Silk Visa program, which is intended to ultimately function along the same lines as the Schengen visa system in Europe.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are the region’s leading economies.

In Turkmenistan, the slogan of this year was “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road”.

Such historical and cultural monuments of Turkmenistan as Ancient Merv, Kunyaurgench and Ancient Nisa have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and ‘kushtepdy’ sing and dance art and the Epic of Gyorogly have been added to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Heritage, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported.

Turkmenistan currently works on inclusion of the Koytendag ecosystem and the Badhyz State Reserve to the World Heritage List and Turkmen carpet art and Akhalteke horse breeding art to the Representative List of Intangible Heritage.

Sergey Kwan