Uzbekistan ready to join Council of Turkic-Speaking Countries

Participants of the Turkic Council summit in Kyrgyzstan's resort city of Cholpon-Ata on September 3 (Uzbek president’s press service)

CHOLPON-ATA, Kyrgyzstan (TCA) — Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev says Uzbekistan is eager to join the Council of Cooperation of the Turkic-Speaking Countries, also known as the Turkic Council, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Speaking at the Turkic Council summit in Kyrgyzstan’s resort city of Cholpon-Ata on September 3, Mirziyoyev said that Uzbekistan was “honored” to take part in the meeting as a guest.

“We are happy and ready to become a part of this organization and propose the Uzbek city of Khiva to be the capital of the Turkic Council,” Mirziyoyev said, adding that Tashkent would use its membership in the organization to focus on trade and economic cooperation between member states.

The Turkic Council was established in October 2009 with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey as the group’s founding members.

Uzbekistan announced its intention to join the group in late April.

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov said during the September 3 gathering that Uzbekistan’s membership “will add a new breath to the organization.”

Mirziyoyev has taken steps to open Uzbekistan to the outside world and improve ties with its neighbors since he became president following the death in 2016 of his predecessor, Islam Karimov.

The Turkic Council’s summit on September 3 was attended by presidents of the member states.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also took part in the summit as an “honored guest”.

Speaking at the Turkic Council summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined the need for new initiatives to boost regional trade: “Dependence on dollar in international trade has started to become an obstacle for us. Our proposal on this issue is to focus on the option of trading in our local currencies. Our age also offers us important means to improve the networks of transportation and communications. In this regard, we attach importance to the Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor, which reaches China passing through Caucasus and Central Asia. The most important leg of this project, known as ‘Modern Silk Road-Middle Corridor,’ is the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project, which we undertake with Azerbaijan. Thanks to this project, a train which sets out from Western Europe will, without interruption, reach the Caspian cost, and from there, Shanghai and Seoul via Port Aktau [in Kazakhstan — edit.]. This important line of transportation will serve to enhance our peoples’ prosperity and to deepen our relations,” the official website of the Turkish president quoted him as saying.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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