Uzbekistan ready to take part in construction of Kambarata hydro plant in Kyrgyzstan

atam_mirziyoyev_bishkek-2dd

BISHKEK (TCA) — During his official visit to Kyrgyzstan on September 5, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the two countries have reached serious agreements on water issues and on construction of hydro power plants in Kyrgyzstan — particularly the Kambarata HPP on the Naryn River.

“We are ready to take the most active part, including financial… We need the construction of Kambarata, this power plant is needed [by both countries],” Mirziyoyev said following his talks with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz presidential press service reported.

Atambayev called Mirziyoyev’s visit to Bishkek a “historic event for both nations.”

“Both the Kyrgyz and Uzbek people have been waiting for this visit for more than 20 years. [This visit] will solve many issues as it opens a new era, a new epoch in the relations between our two nations,” Atambayev said.

Mirziyoyev called Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan’s “strategic partner,” adding that Uzbekistan’s “priority now is improving ties with its neighbors.”

On September 5 Atambayev and Mirziyoyev signed an agreement on delimitation of 85 percent of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, Atambayev’s press service reported.

“We were convinced that we can agree if we want to and have a political will,” Atambayev said after the signing.

“We have to turn our [Uzbek-Kyrgyz] border into a border of friendship,” Mirziyoyev said.

Some 230 kilometers of the nearly 1,400-kilometer-long Uzbek-Kyrgyz border are still disputed between the two countries.

Mirziyoyev’s visit is the first official visit by an Uzbek president since late Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s trip in 2000.

Ties have been improving since Mirziyoyev came to power in September 2016 following the death of Karimov, who had ruled Uzbekistan with an iron fist since the Soviet era, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

During Karimov’s rule, Uzbekistan was at odds with its neighbors over issues ranging from border disputes and ethnic stand-offs to economic disagreements linked to water distribution and energy transportation across the region.

Sergey Kwan

TCA