A new stage in the development of regional dialogue at the highest level
The second Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia has kicked off in Tashkent.
The summit is attended by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Joint photographing ceremony of the heads of delegations took place.
Presidents held a narrow format meeting. The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed the meeting.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev sincerely greeted his colleagues and noted that this meeting is really in demand and reflects the sincere desire of our people to expand partnership, strengthen friendship and good-neighborliness, and jointly solve common problems.
Thanks to the political will and joint efforts of the leaders of Central Asian countries, solutions were found on many complex and controversial issues. Most importantly, these positive changes were supported by the population of the region, as well as received high praise in the world.
At the same time, the current conditions of the rapidly changing global situation, aggravation of security threats and strengthening factors negatively affecting stable development, necessitate the strengthening of partnerships based on mutual trust and coordination of efforts.
In this regard, the current meeting opens a qualitatively new stage in the regional dialogue at the highest level.
“Thanks to the Almighty, we are neighbors. The history and fate, the future of our people are closely intertwined. And this is a great unifying force of the entire region”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The President of Uzbekistan drew attention to the pressing issue of agreeing on a Common Vision for Multilateral Cooperation in Central Asia and forwarded a number of other important initiatives.
This is first of all, the deepening of trade-economic and investment ties. It is important to maximize the competitive advantages of our region, which has a capacious market, significant natural raw materials and human resources. It is necessary to jointly identify opportunities and promote cooperation projects in various sectors of the economy in order to form a value chain, expand intra-regional trade, and create jobs.
Uzbekistan is ready for active cooperation in agricultural machinery, the automotive industry, the electrical, textile industry, and the agricultural sector.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed to organize for this purpose the Investment Forum of Central Asian countries in Tashkent, to hold annual meetings of the leaders of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The next important area is strengthening transport interconnectedness and unlocking the transit potential of the region.
It was noted that the transport system of Central Asia should, first of all, ensure well-coordinated communications within the region, as well as effectively serve increasing transit flows using the modern infrastructure being created.
The need for accelerating the creation of a regional Council for Transport Communications, the coordination of the Program and Agreement on the joint development of the transport system in Central Asia was emphasized.
Third, expanding cooperation in the energy sector, taking into account the long-term interests of the region. Uzbekistan expressed its readiness to consider possibilities for implementing joint projects on creation of a modern energy infrastructure in the region, paying particular attention to increasing the share of renewable energy sources.
Realization of the huge tourism potential of the countries is among the most promising areas of cooperation. The President of Uzbekistan noted the need for forming a single, recognizable tourism brand of Central Asia with attractive regional tourism products.
To this end, Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed to hold the International Tourism Conference “Traveling in Central Asia”.
The President of Uzbekistan also advocated for the development of coordinated approaches to solving problems of water use based on common long-term interests, noted the importance of coordinating the efforts of the region’s countries aimed at promoting peace, national harmony and economic recovery of Afghanistan.
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Negotiations of the leaders of Central Asian countries continued in an expanded format.
Welcoming the participants of the meeting, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the second Consultative meeting once again clearly confirms the commonality of interests, readiness for an open dialogue and adoption of agreed decisions on the most pressing issues of regional development.
It was emphasized that Central Asia, with its rich cultural and historical heritage, has always served as a unique bridge connecting Europe, the Middle East, South and East Asia. Today, colossal natural resources, huge human potential are concentrated here, the competing interests of the leading world powers intersect.
These and other issues, as well as close proximity of major hotbeds of instability pose difficult questions for the countries of the region regarding stability, the probability of new challenges and risks, further development of cooperation in such conditions.
“Thanks to the political will and practical steps, we are reaching a higher level of interaction, – the President of Uzbekistan said. – Our solidarity and active efforts have opened up great opportunities for multifaceted regional cooperation. In a short time, we were able to achieve real progress together”.
In particular, the trade turnover between Uzbekistan and the Central Asian countries has more than doubled in recent years, and the number of joint ventures has quadrupled. Through joint efforts, borders are being legalized, full-fledged activities of about sixty checkpoints are being provided, and visas are canceled. Business and interregional contacts, transport links, cultural and humanitarian exchange is expanding.
Therefore, in 2018, Uzbekistan hosted the first Central Asian Economic Forum and the first meeting of the Working Group at the level of deputy prime ministers of the region’s countries.
In all of this, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said, a steady trend is emerging – the strengthening of the independent role and responsibility of our states for a common future. He noted with satisfaction that the Central Asian countries are increasingly acting from consolidated positions on regional and global issues.
“Our rapprochement and expansion of cooperation in the region is a demanded and irreversible process. It is based on a firm political choice, has deep historical background and is not directed against anyone’s interests. At the same time, strengthening unity and cohesion, we contribute to the establishment of a stable and sustainable region, which means a promising and predictable international partner”.
The President of Uzbekistan urged the meeting participants to focus on the practical implementation of tasks in trade-economic, investment, transport-communication and energy sectors.
In this regard, it was proposed to hold the Central Asian Investment Forum and the first meeting of the chambers of commerce and industry of the countries, to expedite the creation of a regional Council for Transport Communications, to organize an International Tourism Conference to promote joint programs on the principle of “one tour – the whole region”.
In addition, according to the leader of Uzbekistan, the establishment of the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group meets the interests of all people, as well as the creation of a cultural-humanitarian exchange platform “Central Asia – one past, a common future”.
The President of Uzbekistan proposed the establishment of a Central Asia Award for outstanding achievements in science, culture and art, as well as holding University Forums and Regional Sports Games.
“We consider it important to organize annually on the eve of Navruz holiday of the Days of Culture of Central Asia – in turn in each of our countries. All of this will make our fraternal people even closer”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The search for mutually acceptable solutions to pressing issues of joint water use, complex regional water and environmental problems requires coordinated approaches. In order to attract innovative technologies, introduce the principles of a green economy, prevent desertification and take other comprehensive measures, the President of Uzbekistan proposed to effectively use the capabilities of the Trust Fund created under the auspices of the UN for the Aral Sea region.
Taking into account the need for ensuring regional stability and security as a top priority, the President of Uzbekistan advocated for the creation of working mechanisms for the operational interaction of the law enforcement agencies and special services of our countries to fully counter current challenges and threats.
“An integral part of our region is Afghanistan. Moreover, helping this country to firmly embark on the path of peace and development is in our common interests. We believe that it is necessary to adhere to the key principles of a political settlement. First of all, it is a renunciation of violence, a ceasefire, a demonstration of readiness for dialogue and compromise”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized.
In addition, as the leader of Uzbekistan noted, it is extremely important to develop coordinated approaches to the implementation of popular infrastructure and social projects in Afghanistan, as well as to the active involvement of this country in regional trade and economic relations.
Uzbekistan’s President expressed his conviction that these priorities will be reflected in the Common Vision for further development of cooperation in Central Asia.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev urged the meeting participants to agree on key principles and goals of interaction, create favorable conditions for the movement of people, capital, goods and services, as well as a broad cultural-humanitarian exchange, to promote the formation and launch of effective mechanisms to strengthen friendship, good-neighborliness and partnership in Central Asia.
At the proposal of the President of Turkmenistan, the leaders of the countries unanimously elected the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, Honorary Chairman of the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia.
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Following the second Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, a briefing was held for media representatives.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that today’s talks were held in a traditionally friendly atmosphere and in the spirit of complete mutual understanding, they have become another vivid confirmation of the strong political will and commitment of the heads of Central Asian countries to strengthen confidence and good-neighborliness in the region.
“We comprehensively discussed pressing issues of cooperation and reaffirmed our principled choice in favor of actively building up cooperation between our countries. The meeting demonstrated the coincidence of evaluations and the proximity of positions on the regional and international agenda”, the President of Uzbekistan said.
It was noted that issues of elimination of trade barriers, as well as closer industrial cooperation between our countries, the promotion of major projects aimed at modernizing the energy infrastructure and expanding the transit capabilities of the region were considered at the meeting.
The parties agreed to maintain active exchanges and contacts at the level of the regions of our countries, as well as regularly conduct joint activities in science, education, tourism, culture and sports.
“We are united by common history and culture, our sacred religion, similar mentality, spiritual and moral values and traditions, as well as strong friendship. All this is a powerful foundation for close and mutually beneficial cooperation of Central Asian countries, uniting the potential for the wellbeing and prosperity of our people”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
During the talks, much attention was paid to issues of multilateral cooperation in ensuring security and stability in the region.
Following the summit, a Joint Statement was adopted and the Regulations for the preparation and conduction of Consultative Meetings was approved.
The First President of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev was unanimously elected Honorary Chairman of the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asia.
The next Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia will be held in 2020 in Kyrgyzstan.
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After fruitful negotiations, heads of Central Asian countries planted tree seedlings on Honored Guests Avenue at Kuksaroy Residence.
These trees will grow and become stronger, symbolizing the strong friendship and cooperation of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
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Participants of the second Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia – President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov visited Scientific and Enlightenment Memorial Complex named Islam Karimov.
The great statesman and politician Islam Karimov has earned great respect as the founder of independent state and new statehood, an outstanding politician and a visionary reformer. The Oqsaroy residence, where he worked for many years, is today transformed into the Scientific and Enlightenment Memorial Complex named after the First President.
Heads of states laid flowers at the monument to the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and paid tribute to his bright memory.
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The events of the program of the second Consultative Meeting have ended.Heads of states jointly arrived at the airport. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has seen off the leaders of the region’s countries.