UN fully supports Uzbekistan efforts to strengthen regional cooperation in Central Asia

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Under the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who came to power after the death of longtime autocrat Islam Karimov in 2016, Uzbekistan intends to forge closer cooperation with neighboring Central Asian countries to solve all “vitally important issues,” Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said at the international conference, “Central Asia — A Major Priority Of Uzbekistan’s Foreign Policy”, held on August 11 in Tashkent.

The forum was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, the UNDP Representative Office and the Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Tashkent, and gathered experts and diplomats from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, the Jahon information agency reported.

Uzbekistan, having a common border with all the states of Central Asia, is objectively interested in turning the region into a zone of stability, sustainable development and good-neighborliness, the Uzbek Foreign Minister said. Addressing all vital issues of the country’s development – from border security to equitable distribution of water resources — are inextricably linked with the region. Economically prosperous, secure Central Asia is an absolute imperative for Uzbekistan. Any major regional projects in the spheres of transport, communication and energy cannot be implemented without active interaction with the countries of the region, without ensuring a high level of their integration, he emphasized.

During Karimov’s more than 25-year rule, Uzbekistan was at odds with its neighbors over issues ranging from border disputes to economic disagreements over water distribution and energy projects in the region. President Mirziyoyev has taken steps to improve ties with the neighbors.

In his speech at the conference, the head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Petko Draganov confirmed that all the forwarded initiatives of the leadership of Uzbekistan aimed at bringing all the countries of Central Asia closer for common development and progress are fully conformable to the fundamental purposes and goals of the UN. In this regard, Uzbekistan can count on comprehensive assistance of its proposals from UNRCCA.

UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan Helena Fraser said that the Action Strategy for 2017-2021 adopted in Uzbekistan and the foreign policy on strengthening ties with neighboring countries implemented on its basis is the guarantee of future prosperity and stable development of not only Uzbekistan, but also of the entire Central Asia. In this regard, the United Nations fully supports the efforts of Uzbekistan towards strengthening regional cooperation.

Sergey Kwan

TCA