02/07/11 Bollettino d'informazione (maggio - giugno 2011)

posted 9 Feb 2012, 05:19 by Admin Website   [ updated 14 Feb 2012, 04:08 ]

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AMBASCIATA DELLA REPUBBLICA DELL’UZBEKISTAN IN ITALIA

BOLLETTINO D’INFORMAZIONE
(MAGGIO-GIUGNO 2011)

 

ROMA

 

CONTENUTO

MAGGIO

  1. BOLSTERING FRIENDLY AND PARTNERSHIP RELATIONS
  2. LONG-TERM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BASED ON EQUALITY AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
  3. PRESIDENT KARIMOV RECEIVES LUKOIL CHIEF
  4. ISLAM KARIMOV RECEIVES UN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL
  5. PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN RECEIVES US PRESIDENT’S DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
  6. COOPERATION FOR PEACE AND SECURITY
  7. FRENCH DELEGATION MEETS CHAIRMAN OF SENATE
  8. “RATIONAL USE OF WATER IS AN URGENT TASK”

GIUGNO

  1. COOPERATION BASED ON LONG-TERM INTERESTS
  2. PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN ASTANA
  3. PRESIDENT VISITS KASHKADARYA REGION
  4. PRESIDENT MEETS OSCE CHAIRMAN
  5. UZBEKISTAN-SAUDI ARABIA JOINT COMMISSION MEETS
  6. INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
  7. FEAST OF BREAD AND SWEETS HELD IN TASHKENT

 

 

MAGGIO

BOLSTERING FRIENDLY AND PARTNERSHIP RELATIONS

At the invitation of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov arrived in Uzbekistan May 5 on official visit.
Uzbek and Turkmen peoples are bound with a common history, language, culture, traditions and customs. The scientific, literary and spiritual heritage of our ancestors is considered common wealth of the two peoples. The Uzbeks and the Turkmen are dear guests in one another’s wedding parties.

The relations between the two republics acquired a new impetus, qualitatively higher level during the years of their independent development. The Uzbek-Turkmen cooperation is currently developing in the spirit of Interstate Agreement on Consolidation of Friendship and Comprehensive Partnership signed in 2007. The regular summits are but a testimony to this reality.

This time’s Tashkent meeting of the heads of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan has come to be a logical extension of the highest-level practical and enthusiastic dialogue. During a tête-à-tête conversation, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov exchanged views on a wide-scale of issues related to the bilateral interaction, on regional and international topics of mutual interest.

The sides noted that the current visit by Turkmenistan’s leader has confirmed the community of efforts and aspirations of the two nations in affording a new pace to the bilateral and multilateral cooperation built on principles of mutual confidence, respect, shared interest and good neighborliness.

It has been pointed out that the dynamic advancement of relations between the two countries in diverse spheres can be seen also in the effective implementation of documents signed.

The two heads of state said that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have been cooperating effectively in the framework of the United Nations and other international institutions, and that the two countries’ views are similar in addressing regional and international issues. During the talks, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also dwelled on matters concerning interaction in countering such threats as terrorism, extremism, organized crime, drugs trafficking.

Discussing the situation in Afghanistan, the two leaders agreed that it is impossible to establish peace with the use of military force alone. The Presidents noted the importance of initiatives aimed at creating new effective mechanisms of stepping up the negotiations process in addressing the conflict with the participation of nations neighboring Afghanistan.

Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov exchanged views on issues relating to the rational use of water and energy resources in Central Asia, to boosting regional cooperation. It is essential, the parties agreed, that problems concerning water and energy sphere be addressed building on universally accepted norms and principles of international law, with an eye to the interests of every country in the region and with international institutions involved in the process. The two leaders pointed to the necessity of adhering to provisions secured in UN conventions on protection and use of trans-boundary watercourses and international lakes, and the one on the right to use non-navigational international watercourses.

Presidents Karimov and Berdimuhamedov continued negotiations with the participation of delegation members. That officials from ministries and agencies, major companies and organizations from the two sides attended the extended talks were suggestive of the two parties’ solid willingness and enthusiasm to further expand and consolidate the cooperation in all directions. The major focus has been placed on trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian interaction.

The scale of economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan has been enhancing. Hydrocarbon industry and interaction with foreign investors in fuel energy complex have been dynamically advancing both in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Along with bilateral partnership, the two nations have been energetic also in multilateral projects in this sphere. A classic example of this is the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China pipeline commissioned in 2009.

The sides underscored the importance of stepping up the cooperation in promoting this arterial direction as well as alternative routes that would enable to export energy resources from the region to Europe and other markets of the world. Uzbek and Turkmen officials agreed to keep with cooperation in jointly addressing the issues of diversifying the supply routes of Uzbekistan’s and Turkmenistan’s abundant natural resources to global markets, in setting up a global system of ensuring energy security in the transportation of these resources.

Transport and communications constitute another vital dimension of economic cooperation. Cargo is transported to Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, and to Uzbekistan through Turkmenistan. The territories of the two countries and their advanced communications systems serve also as transit routes for third parties. These factors suggest that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan wield a considerable potential in this sphere. Expansion of interaction on this front is considered critical in promoting international trade and wide-scale investment cooperation between the two nations as much as between regions and continents. In their discussion, the two heads of state placed a particular emphasis on the topic of establishing Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman-Qatar transport corridor raised during President Islam Karimov’s official visit to Turkmenistan last October. The two countries are reliable partners in materializing this project promising to allow for colossal opportunities in reaching out to global markets. Ashgabat Agreement was signed recently to create this corridor. Along with helping bolster mutually advantageous trade and economic interaction among participating countries, the implementation of this project will serve to lift up the volumes of international transit cargo, to open up new communications networks for world markets.

Each country has attached a special prominence to augmenting the bilateral trade cooperation. It has been suggested by the growing mutual trade. The bilateral turnover has increased fourfold in the last four years, reaching 200m US dollars in 2010.

Uzbek-Turkmen intergovernmental commission on trade and economic, scientific and technological, cultural cooperation convenes on a regular basis. Under consistent discussion has been the elaboration of measures aimed at invigorating untouched opportunities, exploring and utilizing new dimensions of interaction. In addition, organization of national expositions of Turkmenistan in Tashkent and of Uzbekistan in Ashgabat has turned into a good tradition. 

It is imperative, the two sides stressed, that the mutual trade assortment be expanded by goods and services originating in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. That would serve to boost mutually beneficial economic ties among the companies and enterprises of the two nations.

Cultural and humanitarian issues have also been deliberated in the course of negotiations. The critical role of spiritual proximity, traditional friendship bonds between the two peoples in developing the interaction on this front is worth noting in particular.

Culture and arts representatives of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have regularly attended festivals, exhibitions and forums in the two countries. For instance, Turkmen artists are constant and active participants of Sharq Taronalari (Melodies of the East) international music festival organized every year in Samarqand.

Worth noting that as part of meeting at the highest level, friendship festivals of the two countries’ artists have become a good custom. The ancient and eternally young Bukhoro is serving these days as a venue for regular Uzbek-Turkmen festival of friendship.

A 2011-2013 cultural-humanitarian cooperation program comprises a few cultural events and programs.

It has been underscored that the two nations should further advance interaction in culture, arts, tourism and sports.

Following the negotiations, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov penned Uzbek-Turkmen Joint Statement.

The governments of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan signed agreement on setting up trade representations on a reciprocal basis. This will facilitate the establishment of a new scheme in expanding the bilateral cooperation in this sphere, and grant an opportunity for economic entities from the two countries to interact with each other directly on online regime. That is, the scheme is to afford new convenience for customers and consumers in the two countries to conduct business dialogue, to reach mutual deals.

The intergovernmental agreement on scientific and technological cooperation stipulates to build up relations in such spheres as energy, agriculture and water resources, healthcare and environmental protection.

In addition, a memorandum of understanding has been inked between Alisher Navoi Uzbek National Library and the National Library of Turkmen National Cultural Center. This document envisions intensifying the ties in international book exchange, study and implementation of contemporary library technologies, mutual exchange of experience, joint revision of scientific achievements.

During a meeting with representatives of mass media, Presidents Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that the talks passed in the spirit of openness, mutual confidence and respect, in a working mood, and that the reached agreements would serve to further elevate the Uzbek-Turkmen relations, to raise the wellbeing of the two peoples.

According to President Karimov, the constructive and practical negotiations have demonstrated the similarity and proximity of views concerning a broad range of issues relating to Uzbek-Turkmen cooperation as well as regional and international affairs.

Uzbekistan is Turkmenistan’s reliable friend, important and enthusiastic partner, President Berdimuhamedov said. Turkmenistan attaches a high value to its relations with Uzbekistan built on friendship, fraternity, spiritual closeness, according to the Turkmen leader. These talks have time and again confirmed the community of aspirations of the two sides towards fostering the mutual cooperation. 

In the afternoon, Presidents Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov traveled to Independence Square. The high-ranking guest laid wrath to the Monument of Independence and Humanism that is the symbol of the Uzbek people’s freedom, bright future and heartfelt aspirations. President Berdimuhamedov highly evaluated the creative and beautifying efforts at Uzbekistan’s central square.

Presidents of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan visited also the capital’s ‘Uzbekiston’ palace of international forums erected at the initiative of President Islam Karimov in 2009. The venue meets the international standards for holding major international conferences, cultural and enlightenment events, concerts. The head of Turkmenistan expressed his high consideration to the architectural solution and design that has taken in national architectural traditions and modern dimensions. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov implied in particular that the magnificent palace is a testimony to Uzbekistan’s standing as a country with high potential in all domains.



LONG-TERM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BASED ON EQUALITY AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING

Summing up the state visit of President Islam Karimov to India.

As previously reported, on 17-18 May of 2011 President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov paid a state visit to India.

At the initiative of the Indian side visit was given the highest status in international practice – the state.

The high level of bilateral cooperation as well as existing historical roots of friendly relations between Uzbek and Indian people were taken into account, too.

In Uzbekistan, India is well known as a country with a unique history, with long-standing and strong cultural and economic and trade ties, and sincere friendship with Uzbek people.

Much of the history, literature, music, art and architecture of the Uzbek and Indian people, in their mutual enrichment and mutual penetration are associated with the name of Zakhiriddin Muhammad Babur.

The official part of the visit began with a ceremony in honor of President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the square outside the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Islam Karimov has been given top state honors.

There, during a meeting with media representatives the President of Uzbekistan made a brief statement to the press about the aims and objectives of the present state visit. Uzbek head of state noted the need for critical analysis, evaluation and prospects of relations between Uzbekistan and India. Moreover, the importance of discussion of topical issues of international and regional issues, exchange of views on issues to give a new powerful impulse of the Uzbek-Indian relations through the implementation of untapped opportunities, expansion of mutual cooperation in political, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres were noted.

The first event of the visit was meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on one-on-one. The two leaders discussed in detail the status and prospects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on a wide range of regional and global issues that directly affect the interests of the two countries and peoples.

In an atmosphere of trust and openness, the two leaders exchanged views on a broad agenda of Uzbek-Indian relations, including efficient cooperation within international structures, such as the UN, SCO and others. Uzbekistan has consistently supported India’s aspirations to become a permanent member of the enlarged UN Security Council.

During the talks, the sides noted the coincidence and similarity of positions in almost all bilateral, regional and global issues. As repeatedly emphasized, Uzbekistan and India are interested in cooperation on an equitable basis with mutual interests.

The parties discussed the evolving situation in neighboring Afghanistan and reaffirmed the importance of early establishment of peace and stability in this country that will open opportunities not only for regional cooperation, but also promotes the formation and development of cost-effective route reducing the distance between the markets of India and Central Asia.

In this regard, the opportunities that have arisen with the formation of a new Land Transport Corridor of Central Asia – Persian Gulf and the Trans-Afghan corridor presented of great interest

These and other topics were the focus of attention during bilateral talks in expanded format, when President Islam Karimov and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were joined by other members of official delegations.

The focus of the negotiations were the issues of trade and economic and investment cooperation. It was noted that with high rates of economic growth, Uzbekistan and India’s current bilateral 

Uzbekistan supports the efforts of Indian companies to expand investment cooperation in the sectors in which they have advanced technological capabilities. In this context a successful example is the interaction with Spentex Industries Company, one of the largest investors in textile sector in Uzbekistan, with a number of joint projects for processing raw cotton. Serious considerations are available for pharmaceutical companies in the petroleum industry and chemical industry.

Representatives of Indian business are interested in opportunities of transcontinental intermodal hub at the airport in Navoi city as a transit point, which provides the optimal timing of shipments of Europe, CIS, Middle East and other regions of the world and back. Currently this international hub operates regular flights to major transit points of the world, including such industrial centers of India like Delhi and Mumbai.

The sides noted the sphere of information technologies, the production of software products, telecommunications equipment, distance learning and others as one of the most promising areas of bilateral cooperation. In this field, Indian professionals occupy a leading position in the world. Uzbek-Indian center of information technologies named after Jawaharlal Nehru, opened in Tashkent five years ago, trained young professionals, widely introduced modern principles of programming, it was noted during the meeting.

Within the visit, the action plan to promote cooperation in tourism between Uzbektourism and Indian Tourism Development Corporation was signed.

Also, wide possibilities of cooperation in scientific and technical cooperation were marked. Uzbek scholars and research centers are ready to expand joint research with Indian counterparts in fields such as physics, biotechnology, materials science, solar energy, laser technology, automation of manufacturing processes.

Islam Karimov held talks with other top leaders of India including President Pratibha Patil, Vice President, Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament Hamid Ansari and Minister for Foreign Affairs Somanahalli Malay Krishna. In accordance with Indian Protocol, Karimov held talks with leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj in the lower house of parliament.

President Islam Karimov visited the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he laid a wreath in memory of a great son of the Indian people, who devoted his entire life to the struggle for national liberation.

According to the negotiators and representatives of Indian media, covering the state visit of President Islam Karimov, the Uzbek-Indian dialogue at the highest level, signed long-term instruments provided a good base to give a powerful impetus to bilateral cooperation.

As highlighted in the joint statement on strategic partnership, bilateral relations are derived on the level of long-term strategic partnership based on equality and mutual understanding. The strategic partnership will provide for increased cooperation on a wide range of areas, including political, economic, anti-terrorism, as well as education, health, human resources development, science and technology, tourism and culture.

During the visit, several documents aimed at major expansion in economic and investment cooperation in the sphere of fuel energy, information technology, textiles, pharmaceuticals, banking and trade were signed.

They include the implementation of more than 30 projects, including those aimed at the joint prospecting, exploration and production of hydrocarbons with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, leading company in India, the production of fiber-optic cable in Navoi, a number of projects on production of substances and various drugs, etc. 

The leading large textile companies of India signed agreements on deep processing of cotton, silk and leather raw material for the production and sale of finished products. In the field of information and communication technology projects, the production of smart phones, tablet PCs and Internet set-top boxes, as well as power sources based on solar-hybrid technology were agreed. The signed documents envisage a number of projects in the chemical industry.

National Bank of Uzbekistan jointly with the Export-Import Bank of India signed an agreement for a credit line on the long-term concessional terms. Agreement was reached for long-term supplies of mineral fertilizers and other strategic goods.

The overall cost of the economic package, which was signed during the visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan makes up more than USD $2.2 billion.

According to overall assessment of the parties, the outcome of the visit of President Islam Karimov to India, talks and signed documents serve as reliable basis for a new stage of relations, which is characterized as a strategic partnership in all areas of cooperation on a long term basis.

PRESIDENT KARIMOV RECEIVES LUKOIL CHIEF

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received the head of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov at Oqsaroy Residence on 20 May. 

Welcoming the guest, President noted the positive results of cooperation with Lukoil. As a foreign direct investor, Lukoil has been actively involved in major projects in Uzbekistan. 

The on-gong projects within the frame of agreements on extraction of gas, gas condensate and oil fields, had been giving significant results.

Uzbekistan is interested in using the capacity of Lukoil to further deepen the economic, trade and investment cooperation between Uzbekistan and Russia, the sides emphasized during the meeting.


Also, the sides exchanged views on the implementation of joint projects and prospects for further cooperation.

Lukoil is one of the largest investors in Uzbekistan. Within the long-term production sharing agreements signed in 2004, a number of joint investment projects have been carried out in Uzbekistan.

Along with such companies as Uzbekneftegaz, Petronas, Korean National Oil Corporation and China National Petrolium Corporation, Lukoil is in the consortium to implement multilateral projects on Uzbek part of Aral Sea area.

ISLAM KARIMOV RECEIVES UN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received the UN Under-Secretary-General, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at Oqsaroy Residence in Tashkent on 23 May.

Welcoming the guest, President Karimov noted that Uzbekistan appreciated the activities of the UN Development Programme, a global UN system in development, which advocated for change and granting access to knowledge, experience and resources to help improve the lives of people around the world.

As a member of the UN, Uzbekistan actively participates in international and regional processes. President Islam Karimov has repeatedly drawn international attention to contemporary issues at the UN. In particular, in his speech at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Islam Karimov outlined the following priorities such as ensuring security and stability in the region and its sustainable development and environmental protection.


At present, Uzbekistan has consistently implemented its own model of comprehensive development, coinciding the same basic goals and objectives of the UNDP.

After the summit, Uzbekistan approved a package of additional measures to achieve the MDGs for the period of 2011-2015. Another priority area of cooperation is a joint program of the UN agencies “Ensuring livelihoods of people affected by the Aral Sea crisis,” prepared following a visit of UN Secretary-General to Uzbekistan last April.

Today Uzbekistan has been implementing over 30 projects of UNDP in the various fields of socio-economic and public life, and eight projects are under consideration.

At the meeting, Helen Clark thanked for the warm reception, praising the achievements of Uzbekistan in the sustainable socio-economic development, implementing a number of key objectives identified in the MDGs.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on relations between Uzbekistan and the UNDP, effective implementation of existing and developing new joint projects, as well as other relevant topics of mutual interest.

PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN RECEIVES US PRESIDENT’S DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received US President’s Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough at Oqsaroy residence in Tashkent on 31 May.

Welcoming the guest, Islam Karimov said the Uzbek-US relations were developing stably and consistently in all directions.

During the meeting, the present state and perspectives of relations between the two countries were discussed. The sides also considered issues of regional security and stability, as well as other topics of mutual interest.

Denis McDonough passed the personal message of the US President Barack Obama to President Islam Karimov and noted that the United States highly valued the participation of Uzbekistan in the socioeconomic revival of Afghanistan.

The US representative expressed sincere gratitude to the President of Uzbekistan for warm welcome and underlined his country’s interest in development of long-term relations with Uzbekistan.

 

 

COOPERATION FOR PEACE AND SECURITY

On 27-28 May, VI meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum was held in Tashkent. Delegations of national research centers of the Member States, experts from SCO observer-countries, representatives of the Secretariat and the Executive Committee of RATS, the diplomatic corps in Uzbekistan took part in it.

The Forum is a multilateral public consultation and expert mechanism established to facilitate and support the scientific activities of the SCO.

During the meeting, forum participants focused on the results of the SCO summit held in Tashkent in June, last year. The sides exchanged views on further development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, stabilization the situation in Afghanistan, security in the region of Central Asia, implementation of mutually beneficial investment and trade-economic projects.

At the forum, the chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the organization aimed at improving the efficiency and international prestige of the SCO was highly appreciated. 

In particular, it was noted that Uzbekistan marked the clear and specific priorities of the SCO since the early days of its chairmanship.

The basic documents adopted at the Tashkent summit were discussed in detail at the forum.

Milestone event in the development of the SCO was the Joint Declaration on cooperation between the SCO Secretariat and the UN, signed in Tashkent in April 2010 during the visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which defines the main principles and areas of bilateral cooperation between the competent international bodies.

The forum participants expressed their conviction that the adoption of this document actively to engage the UN rostrum to address the problems faced by the SCO and the joint promotion of interests of the members of organization in its framework.

The plenary discussions were supported by the main approaches of Uzbekistan to the Afghan settlement. The parties were unanimous that the problem of Afghanistan can not be solved solely by military means. It requires a compromise between the warring parties, the involvement of the Afghans themselves, socio-economic revival of the country. Ultimately, the problem of Afghanistan must be solved by the Afghan people.

Participants also recognized the need to create favorable conditions in trade, economic and investment fields, the implementation of joint regional and interregional projects on the development of transport and communications infrastructure.

At the forum, the need for further dynamic development and strengthening the organization was highlighted to improve implementation of the decisions on the basis of strict compliance with the SCO Charter and other arrangements and procedures accepted within the organization.

FRENCH DELEGATION MEETS CHAIRMAN OF SENATE

On 10 May, French delegation led by Andre Dule, the chairman of the parliamentary friendship group France – Central Asia, met with the chairman of Senate of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan Ilgizar Sobrov in Tashkent.

During the meeting it was noted that cooperation between Uzbekistan and France were gradually developing in many directions including the parliamentary sphere.

The sides discussed the issues concerning the relationship between higher legislative bodies of the two countries. It was noted that strengthening the legal base of bilateral relations play an important role for inter-parliamentary cooperation.

Organized in 1992, France – Central Asia parliamentary group serves to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with the parliaments of the region.

“Cooperation between our countries is consistently developing in the field of economy, culture and parliamentarism,” said André Dule. “I was thoroughly acquainted with President Islam Karimov’s concept of further deepening of democratic reforms and formation of civil society in Uzbekistan.”

“I am pleased with the colossal achievements of Uzbekistan for the last 20 in many areas.” 

The French delegation participated in the international seminar titled “Development of constitutional law and parliamentary system in a democratic society: the experience of Uzbekistan and France,” organized by the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan. 

“We support the further strengthening of inter-parliamentary and trade-economic cooperation between our countries,” Dule said.

“RATIONAL USE OF WATER IS AN URGENT TASK”

On 12-13 May an international conference devoted to the preparation for SIxth World Water Forum was held in Tashkent. UzA correspondents talked to some of the participnts.

Bo Libert, Regional Adviser of UN European Economic Commission on the Environment:
“Our organization works closely with the countries of Central Asia, in particular, with Uzbekistan. In this region, the water problem is urgent, therefore, holding this international forum has been very helpful. The conference addressed the most pressing issues related to water security, management of water resources.

Water is the source of life. Deeply aware of this, Uzbekistan pays attention to the development of water management. It is well known to the international community.

Insiccation of Aral Sea is an incredible environmental disaster. This causes a range of socio-economic problems. Measures taken by Uzbekistan are improving the situation. But to solve the problem, all countries should take joint action in this direction. After all, if the Aral problem is not resolved, the consequences will hit not only the population of that territory, but countries around the world.”

Tahir Shamshad, Deputy Mayor of Islamabad (Pakistan):
“Currently, the relevance of the water problem is understood by all countries. This, of course, requires regional cooperation. The countries in the region should work together to address the issues of rational use of water, its protection, eliminating the causes of drying up of once unique beauty of the Aral Sea. With involvement of modern technologies, the scale of water problem has dropped considerably.

Huge negative impact of the Aral Sea tragedy on the ecosystem of the whole region is obvious. To stabilize the environmental situation in the region the international attention should be involved to this matter.”

Janusz Kindler, a professor of water resources and ecosystems of Warsaw Technical University (Poland):
“For many years I have been working in Uzbekistan and I am well informed about water issues in the region. I am aware of what kind of work is being done by the government of Uzbekistan to improve the living conditions in Aral Sea area. However, full stabilization of the complicated situation, and solution of serious problems do not depend only on Uzbekistan.

The conference discussed the issues of enhancing cooperation through the sharing of water resources management in Central Asia, climate change in the Aral Sea region, the negative impact of large industrial plants on the environment and other pressing environmental issues.”

Oksana Boyarkina, representative of the Institute of Water Problems of Russian Academy of Science:
“When using the transboundary rivers, one should strictly observe the international legal instruments. Some governments in the region and international organizations need to integrate actions to address transboundary environmental problems and reduce environmental threats.

Conducting this conference in Tashkent is important. Here we got a lot of new and useful information to address the problems associated with the use of transboundary rivers. Everyone knows that the president of Uzbekistan put forward new initiatives to address these issues and large-scale studies have been done already. From this perspective, the welcome note by President Islam Karimov to the participants of the conference further raised the status of the forum.”

GIUGNO

COOPERATION BASED ON LONG-TERM INTERESTS

As previously reported, at the invitation of President Islam Karimov, on 13 June, President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev arrived in Uzbekistan on a working visit.

On 14 June, meeting of President Islam Karimov and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev was held in suburban complex of Kuksaroy.

Welcoming the guest, Uzbek head of state noted that the visit of President of Russia to Uzbekistan was considered as conclusive evidence of the high level of mutual relations and served as embodiment of political commitment to strengthen cooperation in all areas based on long-term interests of both counties and their people.

The sides stated that today the cooperation between the two countries was developing steadily in all directions and mechanisms for effective cooperation in political, trade-economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres were launched.

Russia is the largest trade partner of Uzbekistan. Bilateral trade has a positive trend. Last year it grew by almost 50% to USD 6.4 billion.

During the meeting of Uzbek-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation on 31 May, the issues of expanding economic cooperation through the involvement of new industries and products were discussed.

Uzbekistan exports natural gas, agricultural products, transport and communication services, vehicles, textiles and more to Russia. Non-ferrous and ferrous metals, mechanical and electrical equipment, wood products and wood processing industry are imported to Uzbekistan from Russia.

The cooperation in agriculture is intensifying, increasing volumes of supplies of fruits and vegetables.

Dynamics and diversification of investment cooperation is evident in the increasing number of joint ventures. In Uzbekistan, there are 843 Uzbek-Russian JVs. In addition, 135 firms and companies of Russia have opened their offices in our country. The Russian Federation has 385 joint ventures created with Uzbek partners.

The scale of investment cooperation is expanding. In this regard, the implementation of large scale works in conjunction with such companies as Gazprom, Lukoil, Soyuzneftegaz, Stroytransgaz, Volgaburmash, etc., to develop the infrastructure of the fuel and energy complex geological prospecting, exploration and development, should be noted.

Also, extensive contacts in the area of humanitarian cooperation, covering the areas of education, culture, healthcare, tourism and others are established between the two countries.

Priority is given to contacts in the field of science and education. A vivid example is the activities of branches of Russian Economic University named after G. Plekhanov, Moscow State University named after Lomonosov and the Russian State Oil and Gas named after Gubkin in Tashkent.

At the Uzbek-Russian high level meeting, along with the most important issues of bilateral cooperation were also addressed topical issues of international politics, particularly, the management issues in Central Asia as well as water and energy resources were reviewed.

For construction of hydraulic structures in rivers in the region should be agreed with neighboring countries and an independent international review of such projects should be carried out.

The sides also discussed the situation in the region. They noted the importance of cooperation in strengthening security and stability. It was stressed that lasting peace in Afghanistan promote interaction between the interstate and interregional relations.

Islam Karimov and Dmitriy Medvedev discussed in detail the key issues of bilateral relations. Important job was held, which is usually figuratively called “reconciliation hours” at the highest level. It appears that the agreements reached in the near future will find real shape in the form of specific documents, mutually beneficial projects aimed at development of bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of Uzbekistan and Russia.

PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN ASTANA

On 14 June, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov arrived in the Kazakh capital of Astana to attend the session of the Council of Heads of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

This summit is an anniversary in the history of SCO, one of whose founders, along with Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, in 15 June 2001 was Uzbekistan.

The past decade has been an important step in establishing a new international structure, which has become in a relatively short time, an influential factor in modern geopolitics. However, as noted in one of the past summits, the head of Uzbekistan noted, “SCO, as an equal union of states with common borders, close historical, cultural, traditional political, economic and humanitarian ties, demonstrates that its activities are not directed against the interests of other countries and has no block-confrontational character.”

Within 10 years, SCO has created a serious legal basis for the practical implementation of joint projects in the confrontation with modern challenges and threats, sustainable economic development of member states as well as the whole region and expanded cooperation in the socio-cultural sphere.

Uzbekistan approaches its participation in SCO with responsibility. This is evidenced by the presidency of our country in 2004 and 2010, when at the initiative of Uzbekistan key documents for the organization, including the decision on approving the Regulations on the admission of new members of SCO, Decision on approval of the Rules of Procedure of the SCO, have been developed and adopted. Also, during the presidency of Uzbekistan the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the UN Secretariat and the SCO was signed.

Within the program of the summit’s first day, the leaders of member states, the heads of the observers, and other members attended the anniversary concert at the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall.

Also, several other events devoted to the 10th anniversary of the SCO were held.

The summit of SCO will continue its work on 15 June.

PRESIDENT VISITS KASHKADARYA REGION

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov with the football club Nasaf. Photo by Sarvar Urmonov (UzA). 

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov arrived in Kashkadarya region on 22 June to get acquainted with the undertaken socio-economic reforms and creative and beautification work in the area.

As in all regions of the country, large-scale reforms are being implemented in Kashkadarya region, too. Cities and villages are being improved, changing their image. New businesses, educational and medical institutions, large and modern roads, parks and plazas are built.

Industry and agriculture are dynamically developing in Kashkadarya. In the 1Q of the year, the growth of regional product amounted 105.9%. The stable growth is ensured in industrial production, consumer goods, services and other fields.

As a result of the formation of stable households on the basis of gradual reform of agriculture, optimization of acreage of farms, the efficiency is steadily increasing, improving financial and economic situation. Opportunities are expanding to increase income and living standards, appearance of villages are improving, modern infrastructure is developing.

Today, each of 7,139 farmers has an average of 102 hectares of land. As a result of consistent reforms, providing full support to farmers and protecting their rights and interests, profitability and productivity have increased in the region.

President Islam Karimov visited Kashkadarya Research Institute of selection and seed-grain cereals, and talked with scientists and young researchers.

Founded on the initiative of the head of state, this institute performs tasks such as improving grain yield in irrigated areas and improving their quality in accordance with international standards, creating varieties of wheat resistant to water shortage and salinization of land struggle with agricultural pests and plant diseases.

“Kashkadarya region has great economic potential and opportunities,” President said. “This institution was created in Kashkadarya in order to effectively use this potential and in-depth study of soil characteristics and climatic conditions of the region on a scientific basis, opening opportunities to search for young scientists.”

At this institute, where more than 100 scientists and researchers are currently studying early-maturing, resistant to diseases and pests of wheat which fits into climatic conditions of the region. The test fields are located in Karshi, Kasbiy and Shakhrisabz and Kamashi districts of the region. Such sort of wheat created by the scientists as “Turkistan,”, “Jayhun” and “Yaksart” are totally zoned.

“In addition to increasing productivity, we must create more high-quality varieties of wheat,” Islam Karimov said. “Last year our country raised 7.3 million tons of grain. Year after year, productivity is increasing. In the first years of independence the country cultivated only 800 million tons of grain, five million tons of wheat was imported from abroad. In a short time, Uzbekistan has taken a worthy place among the states that export grain. In 2010, we exported more than 400 thousand tons.”

Speaking about the current problems of the institute, the head of state noted the need for extensive use of capacity and knowledge of young people, creating all necessary conditions for scientific research, effective use of biological methods of pest control.

Great attention paid under the leadership of President Islam Karimov to development of sports, particularly football, is yielding good results. Presidential decree “On additional measures to further strengthen the material base and the development of football in the Republic for 2011-2013” dated 19 January of 2011 serves as an important guide to action in the future development of football in our country.

Three teams presenting Kashkadarya region, Nasaf (Karshi), Shurtan (Guzar) and Mashal (Muborak), are located in the country’s top league on football.

President viewed the modern football club base Nasaf in the city of Karshi and talked to the players and coaches. Islam Karimov congratulated Nasaf team with success in the competition for the cup of the Asian Football Confederation.

“There are sports in which the individual skills of the athlete play an important role. Football is a team game. It’s a well-organized game of team members and their high self-giving is crucial,” said Islam Karimov.

Particular attention paid to development of football in the country, including Kashkadarya, can be seen in the conditions created by the football club base “Nasaf.”

“I witnessed the rapid development of football in Uzbekistan,” said the head coach of Nasaf, a renowned expert of Ukraine Anatoliy Demyanenko. “This is the result of your great attention to the promotion of sports, particularly football, to attract youth to the sport and development of children’s sports.”

President Islam Karimov presented a modern bus to Nasaf football club.

PRESIDENT MEETS OSCE CHAIRMAN

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with acting chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis.

Greeting the guest, the head of state noted that he is welcomed in Uzbekistan as an acting chairman of OSCE as much as the head of foreign ministry of Lithuania, a country tied to Uzbekistan with old and friendly bonds.

At the meeting, the sides went to great lengths exchanging views on issues pertinent to OSCE agenda, Lithuanian chairmanship in this institution, pressing topics of regional and international affairs.

It was stressed that the Concept of Intensifying Democratic Reforms and Forming Civil Society in the Country proposed by the Uzbek President at the joint session of two houses of Oliy Majlis on November 12, 2010, has been indicative of Uzbekistan’s aspiration to steadily move forward with democratic development.

Audronius Azubalis noted that the amendments to the Constitution of Uzbekistan and changes in the national legislation aimed at enhancing the role of political parties have been considered an important stride in this direction.

The parties also discussed regional security and stability issues. The guest voiced his high appreciation of Uzbekistan’s input into socio-economic revival of Afghanistan.

Other matters of shared interest, including those relating to rigorous reforms within the OSCE and fostering interaction among member nations within the Organization, have been deliberated on during the event at the Oqsaroy.

In the context of Uzbek-Lithuanian relations, the sides stand for keeping with the political dialogue at the highest level, boosting inter-parliamentary ties, regular political consultations between foreign affairs ministries and expanding the bilateral contacts. Both sides wield remarkable resources for trade and economic cooperation, including Lithuanian companies’ engagement in setting up hi-tech industrial production capacities in Uzbekistan.

UZBEKISTAN-SAUDI ARABIA JOINT COMMISSION MEETS

The regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Joint Commission of Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia to monitor progress in implementing the Agreement on cooperation in trade, economy, science and technology, culture, sports and youth affairs was held on 6 June in Tashkent.

The event was attended by the heads of ministries and departments, companies and concerns of the two countries responsible for the sphere of external economic relations, investments, oil and gas, commerce and industry, science and education, tourism, chemical industry, health, agriculture and water resources. 

First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, co-chairman of the joint commission, Rustam Azimov emphasized the consistent development of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia in economy, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres at the forum.

Agreements between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia are in force on avoidance of double taxation, promotion and protection of investments. Intergovernmental joint commission meets regularly. Chambers of Commerce of the two countries signed a document on mutual cooperation. 

Two countries are expanding cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, too. On 25-31 March of this year, days of culture of Uzbekistan took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the states, actively investing in the economies of different countries,” said the chairman of the General Agency of Saudi Arabia on investment, the joint commission co-chairman Amr Abdullah Al-Dabbagh. “In cooperation with Uzbekistan, we intend to implement promising projects. Uzbekistan created all conditions for successful activities of foreign investors.”

During the meeting, sides exchanged views on further expanding and strengthening the scope of trade-economic and investment cooperation, development and implementation of mutually beneficial projects. The volume of bilateral trade, increase the number of joint ventures and expand the types of products were highlighted. The implementation of high-tech joint projects in the industrial free-trade zone “Navoi” was considered.

Within the event a business forum and cooperation exchange were held with representatives of companies and enterprises of Uzbekistan and the business community of Saudi Arabia.

INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to raise $990 million for 27 investment projects

Over the past 20 years, Uzbekistan attracted about $700 million of loans and grants from international financial institutions to the agricultural sector for the implementation of infrastructure and institutional projects. 
The works worth $255 million under 21 projects were carried out in the water resources sector at the expense of foreign governments and international financial institutions.  Thus, the country has built irrigation networks and inter-farm collectors of more than 500 km length, carried out the laser-leveling of 1,174 hectares of land, purchased about 300 items of agricultural equipment, 14 large pumps, 8 dredge ships and 4 hydroturbines that meet all international standards. 

As a part of the Uzbek drainage project, the country reconstructed the main 300-km collector in in southern Karakalpakstan, improved the reclamation of 100 hectares of irrigated land, which allows the republic to save 1.5 billion soums of budget funds annually. The launch of hydraulic turbines at Andijon and Ohangaron water power plants made it possible to produce 237 million kWh of electricity per year, and the launch of Tupalang plant – to produce 63 million kWh per year. 

The specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources determined the sources of funding of 27 promising projects worth $990 million in 2011-2015. Potential foreign investors are the governments of China and France, World, Asian and Islamic Development Banks. These activities will ensure the water supply to more than 500,000 hectares of irrigated area and improve the reclamation of over 100,000 hectares of land in the country. 

Currently the Ministry continues to implement the projects worth $15 million at the expense of grant funds of the international financial institutions and foreign governments. The funds are used for projects aimed at land improvement, strengthening the national system of protected areas, the development of sericulture in Karakalpakstan, research, education and training of employees in agricultural and water resources sector. 

To enhance the attraction of foreign investments in the agricultural sector, last year Uzbekistan joined the agreement establishing the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The fund specializes in providing of financial resources to developing countries on concessional terms for agricultural development. Thus, the Fund provides interest-free soft loans of up to 50 years, including a 10-year grace period. 

CONTEXT: AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION 
In the first quarter of 2011 the total volume of agricultural production in Uzbekistan exceeded 1.4 trillion soums, which is 5.8% more compared to 2010. Crop production made up 205.2 billion soums (4.2% more in comparison to 2010), livestock – more than 1.2 trillion soums (6.2%).

FEAST OF BREAD AND SWEETS HELD IN TASHKENT

The feast of Uzbek bread and sweets, devoted to the 20th anniversary of Independence, was held in the capital’s Bobur recreation park.
The event, which reflected national spirit, unique traditions and customs, values, abundance and prosperity, was organized by the State Unitary Enterprise “Intourist-Tashkent” at the National Company “Uzbektourism”, the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent City Municipality and funds “Mahalla,” “Oltin Meros,” Uzbek Association of chefs, Uzbek Association of the bread “Toshkent-non,” Republican International Culture Center, 
Uzbektheater and several other organizations. 

It was attended by representatives of various ministries and departments, NGOs, national cultural centers, diplomatic corps and international organizations, foreign guests, chefs and bakers and general public. 

Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan B. Akhmedov, director of the Republican International Culture Center N. Muhammadiev, director of the State Unitary Enterprise “Intourist-Tashkent” J. Mirzarahmedova and others noted that under the leadership of President Islam Karimov, the work to improve the standard of living, recovery and enrichment of national traditions and customs was yielding good results. 

Along with spiritual, educational, social and economic spheres, radical reforms have been carried out in agricultural sector, rapidly evolving business and farmers’ movement. Uzbekistan has achieved grain self-sufficiency, and established cultivation of the natural and climatic conditions of high, disease-resistant varieties of wheat and flour production, and grain products. 

Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of 7 October, 2010 on approval of state program for protection, preservation, promotion and use of intangible cultural heritage in 2010-2020, serves as an important guide to action in preserving our invaluable spiritual heritage, a comprehensive explanation of their nature and importance to young generation. 

The feast of breads and sweets, carried out in order to enforce the outlined tasks in this document, also helps promote our national traditions and values, spirituality and raising national awareness of young people. Bakers, chefs and culinary experts from the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city offered baked breads, delicious cakes and national dishes to the guests and participants of the event. 

“Today you can see dozens of species of bread products in the market,” says elder of Mahalla “Bogkucha” of Sheyhantaur district of the capital Hamidulla Zahidov. “Different regions of our country bake their own unique types of bread, which indicate the deep roots and identity of our people and at the same time the welfare and prosperity of the country. Prior to independence, one could buy only two or three types of bread products. It was hard to imagine that we would have a wide range of differing in taste, composition, form of bread.”
“Diverse range of products and special flavor of Uzbek bread amazes and delights,” said the chef from India Sylvester Gomez. “I am delighted with the hospitality of Uzbek people, their special attitude to bread. These celebrations of abundance and prosperity can take place only in a peaceful and tranquil country.” 
“At the celebration of bread and sweets we discovered Uzbekistan from new sight,” said a tourist from Spain Merce Batet Alcon. “This great triumph is a clear demonstration of generosity, kindness and hospitality of Uzbek people.
Within the event, the trade show of bread and bakery products and the workshops on national dishes were held.
Also, the best bakers, confectioners and chefs were awarded with diplomas. 
The event resumed with a concert featuring artists and creative young people, collectives of national cultural centers.

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