UZBEKISTAN, KAZAKHSTAN KICK START NEW CHAPTER OF COOPERATION BUILT ON HISTORICAL FRIENDSHIP, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid a state visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan on March 22-23 at the invitation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
It is profoundly symbolic that the summit meeting coincided with Navruz, a holiday of friendship, harmony, kindness and mutual understanding, in whose spirit the relations between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been developing.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev laid flowers to the monument "Defenders of the Fatherland" in the capital of Kazakhstan.
The monument was erected on the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2001 in memory of Kazakhstanis who died in the Second World War.
The head of our state paid tribute to the brave sons of Kazakhstan who sacrificed their lives for peace and freedom, and familiarized himself with the memorial complex.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev planted a tree in the Alley of Heads of State in Astana. Here grows the tree planted by the First President of our country Islam Karimov.
In the Akorda residence, the ceremony of the official meeting of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev was held. Guard of honor lined up to greet the honored guest. State anthems of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were performed. Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev walked by the guard of honor.
During the talks in a contracted format, issues of further development of cooperation between our two nations, the consolidation of peace and security were discussed. The heads of state exchanged views on topical regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that good-neighborly, partner relations between our countries are consistently strengthened.
“Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are close neighbors, time-tested partners. This was once again clearly manifested at a difficult time for us after the passing away of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, when the people of Kazakhstan shared with us the bitterness of loss and provided moral support, which the people of Uzbekistan will never forget. Cooperation between our countries develops on the basis of high trust and mutual respect. The intensification of ties at various levels is a confirmation of the interest of our countries in expanding multifaceted relations," said the President of our country.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, greeting Shavkat Mirziyoyev, noted that the state visit is a logical continuation of the high-level dialogue and an opportunity to discuss issues of shared interest.
“It is profoundly symbolic that your visit coincided with the celebration of Navruz. Between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan there have always been friendly and constructive relations. We will continue our close cooperation, to which the First President of Uzbekistan, my dear friend Islam Karimov, made a great contribution. This is also confirmed by the fact that over the past months the trade turnover between our countries has increased by 30 percent, mutual deliveries of new products have begun. At the business forum held within the framework of your visit, agreements for almost $ 1 billion were reached. Your historic visit will raise the interaction of our states to a new level," the President of Kazakhstan noted.
Relations between our countries are consistently developing on the basis of the Treaty on Eternal Friendship between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed in Tashkent in 1998, and the 2013 Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan support each other in international policy issues. Our countries fruitfully cooperate within the framework of such international structures as the UN, the SCO, the CIS, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, and others. The parties entertain similar or close positions on many issues of regional and international importance.
Uzbekistan supported the election of Kazakhstan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. This will promote the interests of the countries of our region in the international arena. Kazakhstan supported the initiative of Uzbekistan to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, highly appreciates the foreign policy of our country based on the principles of non-alignment with any military-political blocs, peaceful settlement of conflicts.
The talks focused on cementing regional security, counteracting transnational crime, modern threats and challenges. It was noted that the cooperation of our countries as the leading states of Central Asia is of great importance for the stability and development of the entire region.
The talks held in Tashkent on March 10 this year with the participation of the heads of law enforcement agencies and state bodies of the two countries contribute to bolstering interaction in combating modern threats, religious extremism, terrorism, drug trafficking and other dangerous phenomena.
The two leaders, exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan, noted that the sides have a common interest in ensuring peace and stability in that country and rebuild its economy. It was emphasized that the Afghan problem can be solved only by peaceful means, why it is necessary as soon as possible to begin the process of political negotiations under the auspices of the UN.
The parties once again confirmed the common position on the issue of rational use of water resources of trans-boundary rivers in the region.
Presidents continued talks with the participation of official delegations of the two countries in an expanded format. The current state and prospects were discussed on the further development of cooperation in political, trade-economic, investment, transport and communication, cultural-humanitarian and other spheres, they exchanged views on regional and international issues.
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have started the path of independent development at the same time, and they support each other in the modernization and advancement of the economy.
Today, bоth countries are entering a new stage of development. On the initiative of our President Shavkat Mirziyoev, a Strategy for the Further Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 was adopted. In his speech earlier this year to the people of Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev defined the third phase of modernization of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is one of the important partners of our country in the trade and economic sphere. Uzbekistan exports to Kazakhstan natural gas, automobiles, vehicles, fertilizers, textiles, electrical goods, fruits and vegetables, construction materials, and other various products and services. From Kazakhstan to our country oil, metals, flour, fat products are imported.
In our country there are about 230 enterprises with the participation of Kazakhstan's capital, in Kazakhstan there are more than 130 enterprises established jointly with entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan.
In 2016, the volume of annual mutual trade between our countries amounted to 2 billion dollars. It was noted that this indicator does not correspond to the available potential; it is possible to at least double the trade turnover. The economies of our countries do not compete but, on the contrary, complement each other. To do this, it is necessary to intensify the activities of the intergovernmental commission and joint trading houses, the organization of new markets.
In Tashkent on February 23 of this year, a regular meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan was held.
The sphere of transport communications is one of the priority directions of the development of partnership. Automobile and railroads of our countries are integrated. This important transport and communications network also performs a transit function for third countries.
Opening of the road passing through the territory of Kazakhstan’s Maktaaral district linking Tashkent and Samarkand, launch of high-speed train Tashkent-Almaty and bus routes between cities of the two countries will further strengthen transport links between the two countries, will serve the development of interregional contacts, trade and tourism.
It was noted at the talks that the provision of reciprocal long-term preferential tariffs in the transport sector will help to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of the transport corridors of the two countries. Issues of further increase in the volume of mutual trade turnover with preservation of its dynamics, diversification of trade and economic relations, expansion of the export-import nomenclature, development of cooperation between industrial enterprises and business entities were discussed.
The Uzbek and Kazakh peoples have lived side by side since ancient times, and are related by kindred ties. Activation of the interrelations between the regions of the two countries on the initiative of the President of our country further strengthens our cooperation. From Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan visits of delegations of different levels were made. This year alone, the delegation of the Tashkent region visited Kazakhstan, and delegations from Kyzyl-Orda, East Kazakhstan and South-Kazakhstan regions visited Uzbekistan.
During the talks, attention was also paid to further expanding cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
Following the talks, 13 interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents were signed.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Joint Declaration on the Further Enhancement of the Strategic Partnership and Consolidation of Good-Neighborly Relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
At the meeting with representatives of the media, Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the talks were held in a spirit of mutual respect and sincerity, and that the parties supported each other on all strategic issues. It was stressed that this visit is of historic importance for the development of bilateral cooperation, the signed documents will serve the interests of the peoples of our countries.
Within the framework of the visit, the National Industrial Fair of Uzbekistan and a business forum with participation of business circles of the two countries were held in Astana. More than 500 entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan took part in the business forum. As a result of these two events, trade contracts and investment agreements were signed for a total sum of about $ 1 billion.
In the afternoon, Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the State Opera and Ballet Theater "Astana-Opera".
The theater, built at the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan, was put into operation in 2013, and its auditorium is designed for 1,250 seats.
The leaders of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan visited the Nazarbayev University and shopping mall "MEGA Silk Way".
In the trade and entertainment center there are shops, sports and entertainment facilities, office space. The center is an important part of the architectural complex, which will host the international exhibition EXPO-2017 from 10 June to 10 August this year.
A concert program was held in the center, including songs and dances of Uzbek and Kazakh peoples, and products of national handicraft were demonstrated.
The heads of state visited the pavilion "Nur Alem" located on the site of the international exhibition EXPO-2017.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the specialized international exhibition EXPO-2017 will become an important event that will promote further expansion of cooperation, conclusion of promising agreements between business circles and enterprises.
That ended the state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The visit opened a new page in the relations between the two states, defined new horizons for cooperation, became a joyful event in the life of the two fraternal peoples.