INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 190 October 24, 2016

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ECONOMY
Cabinet of Ministers Convenes Session

INVESTMENT
Over 370 companies involving foreign capital have been created in Uzbekistan since early 2016

DECEMBER 4 - THE ELECTIONS OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
Political Parties Submit Documents to Register Their Presidential Nominees
UzLiDeP Hands Papers Over to the CEC
OSCE ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Releases Report
Work of Expert Groups in Full Swing

43RD SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION
OIC: Cooperation for Peace, Enlightenment and Construction

economy

Cabinet of Ministers Convenes Session

On October 13, the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan convened a session that discussed the republic’s socio-economic development in the first nine months of the current year as well as the results of the implementation of key areas and priorities of the economic program for 2016. The session was chaired by the Acting President of Uzbekistan and Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

It was noted that as a result of purposeful and systematic implementation of the strategy of reform, modernization and development of the country developed under the leadership of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and based on his five famous principles of reform, Uzbekistan manages to maintain macroeconomic balance and high economic growth rates notwithstanding the slowing growth of the global economy and the unfavorable situation in world markets,

As of the nine months of the current year, the country’s GDP rose by 7.8%, industry by 7.2%, construction work by 15%, retail trade turnover by 14.2% and services by 12.4%. The state budget has been fulfilled with a surplus of 0.1% in relation to the GDP. Inflation rate has not exceeded predicted figures.

Thanks to the hard work and mastery of farmers, despite the difficult weather conditions, the country has grown and harvested a rich harvest of agricultural products, which ensured a 6.4-percent increase in agricultural production.

The country continues to work to achieve steady income growth and improve the quality of life and living standards for the population.

As compared to the beginning of the year, the average monthly wage increased by 12.6%, while the salaries of public sector employees, pensions, stipends and allowances increased by 15% effective October 1.  More than 12,000 individual comfortable homes with modern standard designs entered into service in new rural residential areas.

In line with the Year of Healthy Mother and Child State Program, the country continues to work on the improvement of the system of family, mother and child health care, upbringing of a healthy and harmoniously developed generation, and further improvement of healthcare institutions’ material and technical resources, which has drawn funding from all sources to the tune of over 6.8 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 24.10.2016, 1$= 3065.35 soums) and $150 million.

The session drew the attention of the heads of state and economic administration bodies and executive authorities to the target set by the late President Karimov in his address ahead of the 25th anniversary of the country’s national independence: “…The results achieved are just a part of the lofty goals we are working toward… Today’s fast-changing times… require that we, first of all leaders, discard old views and outmoded working methods, think in a new way, and take work organization and the system of governance to a new level…”

Based on these requirements, the executives of structures of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministries, departments, economic associations and administrations of all levels were assigned specific targets to mobilize the resources and reserves available for the unconditional implementation of all the events scheduled for 2016, the estimated and target parameters of medium-term programs of development of branches of economy and territories of the republic, as well as build a strong groundwork for maintaining high dynamic pace of economic development in 2017 and beyond.

The session scrutinized the effectiveness of the work on selling state-owned assets, the share of state and economic management bodies in the statutory funds of joint stock companies and enterprises in the private property, primarily to foreign investors.

It was emphasized that the unconditional fulfillment of certain strategic objectives and key target parameters of development of the country’s economy, which were set by the first President Islam Karimov, requires the fundamental and critical revision of management practices. There is also a strategic priority to enhance reformation, diversification and modernization of the economy, remove all barriers for the development of private property, small business and private entrepreneurship.

The participants drew attention to the need to ensure the unconditional implementation of additional measures on accelerated development of entrepreneurship, strengthening of legal mechanisms on protection and guarantees of the inviolability of private property, and notably improve the business environment, as stipulated by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of October 5, 2016.

Discussing the agenda, the participants thoroughly analyzed the effectiveness of ongoing measures to ensure the commissioning of the key objects in 2016, and promptly implement the investment projects.

Active investment policy on enhancement of structural reforms and modernization of industries, the construction of developed industrial and social infrastructure has ensured the growth of disbursed investments by 9.4%, including 11.2% of foreign investments.

A hundred large industrial facilities have been commissioned under the Investment Program for 2016 as of the start of the year. Heads of ministries, departments, economic associations, large enterprises were personally assigned for the unconditional launch of 64 major manufacturing facilities, as scheduled for 2016, as well as for accelerated conclusion of contracts on procurement of raw materials for the production program for 2017, primarily within the 10th International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, heads of ministries, departments, economic associations, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent municipalities were entrusted to finalize and submit for approval drafts of 14 medium-term programs on infrastructural development, which address pressing social issues and are aimed at raising the level and quality of life.

The session scrutinized the performance of the work on further enhancement of export potential of industries and areas of the country, and developed some additional measures to expand the geography of exports, increase in the volume and range of exported products.

Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, O’zbekozikovqatholding Company, Uzagroeksport Company, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and district administrations were assigned to develop and carry out a set of measures in order to enhance the export potential of 66 districts that specialize in fruit and vegetable production. The measures also envisage the development of appropriate infrastructure for harvesting, storage, processing, packaging and transportation of products to ensure the growth of exports, farmers' and population incomes.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, heads of Uztransgaz Company, Uzbekenergo Company, O’zbekkumir, ministries of health and public education, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent administrations reported on the completion of the preparations for fall-winter period.

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent administrations, the O’zbekozikovqatzahira Association were assigned to hasten the procurement of major types of fruits, vegetables and potatoes, as well as ensure their system-based sales in the winter-spring period, taking into account the market demand and prices, avoiding an unreasonable growth of prices in the domestic market.

Executives of branches of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministries, departments, economic associations, large enterprises and regional administrations of the republic presented reports on the agenda of the session. Discussions were concluded with specific resolutions.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Investment

Over 370 companies involving foreign capital have been created in Uzbekistan since early 2016

Further development of the national industry is impossible without the involvement of leading international experience and developments, loans from international financial institutions and organizations and implementation of joint initiatives with major international producers.

Uzbekistan has made significant progress in privatization and attracting foreign investors. The country is home to more than 4,900 enterprises established with participation of foreign capital from more than 90 countries.

It is important to understand that the increased presence of the private sector in the fields of economy through the sale of state property can only be achieved through the involvement of professional and strategic foreign investors. To this end, Uzbekistan has been running a program for the transfer of unprofitable, low-profit and economically insolvent enterprises at zero cost to investors who are willing to commit themselves to the restoration and creation of new modern production facilities.

Among the most active investors in the first nine months of 2016 are Chinese residents who have created 78 companies, Russia – 75, South Korea – 29, the UK – 29, Kazakhstan – 24, Turkey – 24, India – 17 and Iran – 11.

The largest number of such companies – 258 – was created in Tashkent. Among the leaders are Tashkent Region with 39 companies, Samarkand Region with 15, Andijan Region with 13, Ferghana Region – 10, Bukhara Region – 7, Syrdarya region - 5, and the Republic of Karakalpakstan – 8 companies, according to the State Statistics Committee.

Also noteworthy is economic sectors, where new companies are involved. In the industrial sector are 180 entities, trade – 64, construction – 28, services – 15, agriculture, forestry and fisheries – 12, and information and communication – 6.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

DECEMBER 4 - the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Political Parties Submit Documents to Register Their Presidential Nominees

Representatives of political parties participating in the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan submitted October 21 to the Central Election Commission the documents necessary for registration of their presidential nominees.

The event was attended by members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of political parties and mass media.

In accordance with Article 24 of the Law on Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, political parties are entitled to nominate candidates for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. And it is made by the supreme bodies of political parties – the congresses and kurultais.

In accordance with the electoral law, an authorized representative of Milly Tiklanish Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, appealing to the CEC for registration of the candidate for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, presented the required papers.

On the same day, the authorized representatives of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan and the Adolat Social Democratic Party appealed to the Central Election Commission for registration of their presidential nominees and provided the necessary documents.

In accordance with Article 242 of the Law on Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the leader of the political party submits an application to the Central Election Commission with a request to register a candidate for the post of President of Uzbekistan. Attached to the application are the higher authority’s decision of a political party to nominate a candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, minutes of the meeting of the supreme body of the political party to nominate its candidate, the statement of the presidential candidate with his consent to run for President, voter signature lists in support of the nominated candidate.

The Central Election Commission within seven days checks and provides an opinion on the conformity of the submitted documents to the requirements of the election legislation.

Currently, expert groups are formed under the Central Election Commission to verify the correctness of filling in signature sheets, which included members of the CEC, representatives of social organizations and experts of the ministries of the interior and justice.

(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

UzLiDeP Hands Papers Over to the CEC

The authorized representative of the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan submitted October 22 this year to the Central Election Commission the package of documents (application) necessary for registration of its candidate for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The ceremony of handing over the papers was attended by members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the political party and the media.

As the electoral law requires, presented was the statement by the leader of the political party to the Central Election Commission containing a request for registration of the candidate nominated for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The application is accompanied by the decision of the 8th Congress of the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan on the nomination of the presidential candidate, the minutes of the Congress on the issue, the statement of the candidate with his consent to run, voter signature lists in support of the contender to the position of the head of state.

The Central Election Commission has issued a certificate to the authorized representative of the political party, indicating the date and time of the reception of documents. The compliance of the submitted application with the requirements of electoral legislation is considered within deadlines established by the law.

Currently, expert groups are working at the CEC to verify the voter signature sheets. The groups set up for this purpose include specialists from the bodies of the interior, justice, institutions that keep records of people, as well as representatives of the wider public.

(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

OSCE ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Releases Report

As previously reported, Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) visited Uzbekistan on 11-14 October this year at the invitation of the Central Election Commission of our country.

The delegation of the OSCE ODIHR composed of the Head of Elections Department at the OSCE ODIHR Alexander Shlyk and Adviser of the Department Ulvi Akhundlu got familiar with electoral environment ahead of the presidential elections. They held meetings in the Central Election Commission, houses of the Oliy Majlis, at the Supreme Court, the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, the National Center for Human Rights, the National Broadcasting Company, the Uzbek Agency for Press and Information, as well as with the Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights, representatives of political parties and civil society institutions.

During the meetings, the ODIHR experts were provided with information on extensive efforts undertaken in Uzbekistan in the democratization of government and management, advancement of the electoral legislation and practice of preparations and conduct of elections, along with the elevation of the electoral activeness of the population.

On October 21, a report was posted on the OSCE ODIHR official website on the visit of NAM experts to Uzbekistan, containing the decision on the expediency of election observation, its format, duration and the required number of observers.

In particular, taking into account the readiness of the Republic of Uzbekistan to conduct the forthcoming elections in a transparent manner in accordance with universally accepted international standards in this field, the Needs Assessment Mission suggested that the OSCE ODIHR send a mission to observe the presidential ballot.

It is proposed that the mission include, along with the main group and long-term observers in the quantity of 28 people, also a faction of short-term observers numbering 250 people to monitor the electoral process in polling stations on the election day.

Worth noting is that in the past, the OSCE ODIHR used to send limited missions to observe the parliamentary and presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The report notes that the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan – in full compliance with the requirements of the Constitution of the nation and the Law on Elections of the President of Uzbekistan – with regard to the three-month period to conduct electoral events announced the start of the election campaign on September 9 this year and set the date of December 4, 2016, as the voting day.

In addition, the NAM experts stress that all stages of the election campaign are undertaken within the time frames envisaged by the law and the procedures outlined in the CEC-approved Program of Major Activities on the preparation and holding of elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Experts welcomed the December 2015 introduction of amendments and addenda to the laws on the Central Election Commission, on Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other legislative acts following the presidential elections that took place in March 2015. In particular, a special highlight received such changes to the Law on Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan as:

- reduction of the required number of supporter signatures for nomination of presidential candidates (from 5% to 1%);

- establishment of the rules about the notion of electoral campaigning, the types, forms and methods of its conduct;

- creation of polling stations in places of pre-trial detention, regularization of voting procedures;

- possibility of inclusion in the voters’ list at the place of temporary residence;

- definition of time frames, order and procedures for early voting, establishment of the ‘day of silence’ starting from one day before the voting date.

It is stated that these novelties have been introduced in view of previous recommendations of the OSCE ODIHR and meet universally accepted electoral standards.

The report highlights that the CEC has updated normative acts that clarify the procedure for drawing up electoral lists, regulate nomination procedures and verification of signatures collected in their support, the organization of electoral campaigning and funding the campaign, consideration of complaints and appeals, including the clearance of administrative offenses, as well as the rights and duties of observers.

The NAM experts also highlighted the openness and transparency of the activities of election commissions, extensive participation of the media, political parties and international observers in their meetings, willingness pf the CEC to promptly publish all materials related to the election campaign in the press and on its official website. In addition, the report indicates that about 40 percent of the membership in district election commissions are women.

ODIHR mission also included in its report the data on the work undertaken by the Central Election Commission to extensively inform the wider public about the forthcoming elections, to organize cascade training sessions across the country aimed to provide high-quality training to members of precinct election commissions on various aspects of the electoral campaign, as well as on the implementation of a program designed to further increase the legal culture and electoral activeness of voters, especially young people and vulnerable groups.

The report prepared by the experts of OSCE ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission also contains other information suggestive of large-scale efforts undertaken in the Republic of Uzbekistan in perfecting the national electoral legislation and practice of organizing and conducting democratic elections.

It is worth noting that willingness to participate in the observation of presidential elections in Uzbekistan has been expressed by such prominent institution as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the CIS Executive Committee, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the World Association of Electoral Bodies, along with numerous representatives of parliaments, electoral bodies and experts from Europe, Americas, Asia-Pacific and the CIS.

 (Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

Work of Expert Groups in Full Swing

Currently, expert groups set up under the Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan continue their work to verify the correctness of the voter signature sheets presented by political parties in support of their nominees for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The groups have been composed of specialists of the bodies of the interior, justice, institutions that keep records of the population, as well as representatives of the wider public.

In accordance with the requirements of the law, the signature sheets to be checked are selected by sampling. Selected are the same number of voters’ signatures collected in support of each presidential candidate nominated by a political party.

No less than 15 percent of the required number of signatures are subject to verification, so is the accompanying information on the voters who offered their signatures in the lists.

Panelists visually examine each signature sheet, paying particular attention to its accuracy, the existence of corrections, erasures, affixing by different persons, the availability of similar signatures, of certified patches.

Those signature lists which, under visual inspection, contain deficiencies or suspect inaccuracies, are selected out for detailed scrutiny.

Representatives of political parties are present in the rooms where the expert group verifies the correctness of signature lists.

After the verification process is complete, a protocol is drafted to specify the number of submitted voter signatures, the number of checked signatures of voters, the number of voter signatures found unauthentic and invalid. A copy of the protocol is passed on to the representative of a political party.

The protocol constitutes a basis for the adoption of corresponding resolution by the Central Electoral Commission and is attached to the latter.

(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

OIC: Cooperation for Peace, Enlightenment and Construction

Uzbekistan’s chairmanship in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) kicked off with a session of the OIC Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on October 18-19, 2016 in Tashkent.

The 43rd Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers was opened in the Symposium Palace. It was attended by foreign ministers of OIC member states, heads of subsidiary and specialized agencies, special representatives of the United States, France, Italy, the UK and Switzerland in the OIC, as well as representatives of reputable international organizations like the UN, OSCE, the League of Arab States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the Council for Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

At the opening ceremony, the Interim President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev briefed the guests with the priorities of the country's chairmanship in the OIC. As he noted in his speech: “We are sincerely grateful for the fact that the capital of our country – Tashkent – was chosen to host this important forum of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as one of the largest and influential institutions of multilateral cooperation in the world.

We are confident that the current session will be a significant step towards the achievement of the noble goals of preservation and promotion of sacred Islamic values, solidarity between Muslim nations, sustainable development, promotion of progress and prosperity of the peoples of OIC Member States.

It is deeply symbolic that ‘Education and Enlightenment: the Way to Peace and Creativity’ was defined as the major leitmotif of the agenda of the 43rd session of the OIC Council. This idea is naturally cohered with the famous hadith that reads: “Seek knowledge from cradle to grave.” The theme of the session was proposed by the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, who had a huge life experience of eminent statesman, as a result of his deep reflection on the fate of the world, his people, the role of our holy religion in the challenging times.

Today, as the world is rapidly changing, it brings new challenges and threats to the stability and sustainable development of peoples, therefore, the focus on education, spiritual and moral origins, cultivation of the urge for knowledge and self-improvement in young people is relevant as never before.

Education and enlightenment are seen as the key to the prosperity of peoples. Education and enlightenment motivate people for good deeds, kindness and tolerance. That is what we are taught by our faith – holy Islam. This approach is the imperative of our time.”

The Council of Foreign Ministers ranks among the principal structures of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It annually holds its session in one of the OIC member countries. At the 42nd  session in 2015 in Al-Kuwait, it was decided to hold a regular session in the city of Tashkent.

Opening the session, the current chairman of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah read a sura from the Koran. He expressed deep condolences to the people of Uzbekistan due to the passing of President Islam Karimov.

“Islam Karimov did huge work so that Uzbekistan could decently rank among developed countries of the world, and made a great contribution to the development of the Islamic religion. His noble work is continued,” said the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Iyad Amin Madani, expressing his sincere gratitude to the Government of Uzbekistan for the high level of preparation for the session.

In accordance with the Resolution of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov of 19 August 2016, we thoroughly prepared for this international forum, providing all the conditions for events.

The session was held under the motto ‘Education and Enlightenment: the Way to Peace and Creativity’. The idea, according to participants, reflects the priority objectives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as the fight against the destructive ideology, the cultivation of correct understanding of the values ​​of the sacred religion of Islam in the population with the focus on the younger generation, and education of fully mature and well educated young people.

Located in the heart of the Great Silk Road, Uzbekistan ranks among the cradles of ancient civilizations. Our great ancestors Imam Bukhari, Abu Mansur Maturidi, Iso Termezi, Hakim Termezi Mahmoud Zamakhshari, Burhaniddin Marginani, Muhammad Kaffal Shashi, Abdulkholiq Gijduvoni, Bahauddin Naqshband, Khoja Ahrar Wali, Muhammad Khorezmi, Ahmad Ferghani, Abu Raihan Beruni, Abu Ali Ibn Sino, Mirzo Ulugbek, Alisher Navoi made a great contribution to the development of world science, the religion of Islam.

Religious values were revived in the years of independence under the leadership of Islam Karimov. The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Law ‘On freedom of conscience and religious organizations’ created broad opportunities for religious knowledge, worship. The Koran and its commentaries, hadith and other holy books were published in the Uzbek language in thousands of copies. Places of worship of great ancestors have been landscaped. Their anniversaries are marked internationally.

There are Tashkent Islamic University, Tashkent Islamic Institute, and other specialized  education institutions. Scholars of the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and International Center of Imam Bukhari in Samarkand research on the heritage of our great ancestors, making them accessible to our people and the world community. Every year, more than 11,000 Uzbeks go on pilgrimage - Hajj and Umrah. Acceded in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in 1996, Uzbekistan plays an important role in it with its huge social, spiritual and economic capacity.

Cooperation Horizons Expand

To date, the scale of international cooperation has increased remarkably. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation supported the meeting of the ‘6 + 2’ group for a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem, which was held in Tashkent at the initiative of the First President of Uzbekistan, as well as the creation of a zone free from nuclear weapons in Central Asia.

Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – ISESCO - announced Tashkent the capital of Islamic culture in 2007. Representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation were international observers in the presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2007 and 2015, and parliamentary elections in 2009 and 2014.

OIC experts participated in the international conferences on ‘Historical Heritage of Scientists and Thinkers of the Medieval East, Its Role and Importance for the Development of Modern Civilization’ (Samarkand, May 2014), ‘On Key Reserves of Implementation of Food Program in Uzbekistan’ (Tashkent, June 2014), ‘The Development of Cooperation in the Region of the Aral Sea Basin to Mitigate Environmental Catastrophe’ (Tashkent, October 2014), and other forums.

In 2003, Uzbekistan acceded the OIC specialized structure - the Islamic Development Bank. Dozens of projects in health, energy, agriculture and water resources, education, infrastructure development, small business and private entrepreneurship were implemented in the years of cooperation with IDB.

Uzbekistan regards the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as a recognized forum uniting Muslim countries, and its chairmanship in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers as a recognition of the enormous contribution of our country to the development of Islamic civilization. From this perspective, Uzbekistan aims at comprehensive promotion of the OIC role in the world, and assistance in addressing the challenges it faces.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire Abdullah Mabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Salohuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan Ali Alsanosi, Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan Rustam Kasymov spoke at the 43rd plenary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

The Floor to Participants

"We are well aware that Uzbekistan ranks among the top in the list of the happiest countries,” said Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates Maytha Al Shamsi. “We have convinced ourselves by seeing modern Tashkent, its beauty, the happy faces of the people with our own eyes. Since ancient times Uzbekistan has been making a great contribution to the development of Islamic culture and science. The initiatives that Uzbekistan put forward at the session, the country's chairmanship in the Council of Foreign Ministers will undoubtedly contribute to further development of science, education and technologies."

“Uzbekistan is our closest neighbor, the fraternal country and a reliable partner,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Yerlan Idrisov. “Our relations are currently boosting. We are working on new long-term projects in transport and transit, mechanical engineering, metalworking, customs, agriculture and others. The large-scale and effective cooperation between our countries that have a great economic potential, has been primarily contributing to the welfare of our nations and the region as a whole."

“I am delighted by huge transformations every time I come to Uzbekistan,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Anifah Aman. “They are a vivid manifestation of the consistent development of your country. The importance Uzbekistan has been attaching to education of the younger generation has contributed to the development of education and science. I believe that during its chairmanship in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, Uzbekistan will focus on these aspects, and have a positive effect on the development of education systems in the OIC Member States.”

Uzbekistan Takes Over Chairmanship

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs - the State of Kuwait transferred the powers of chairmanship to Uzbekistan. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan will chair the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation till the next session in 2017.

Uzbekistan considers the OIC as an effective and high-profile forum of Muslim states. Its role and significance are irreplaceable in strengthening the tolerance, mutual respect of cultures, peace and accord both inside the Islamic world and among the representatives of various confessions and peoples.

Assuming chairmanship, Abdulaziz Kamilov said as follows: “It is a big honor to us to undertake the functions of a chairing country in the OIC CFM. We consider this fact as an acknowledgment of a profound historical contribution, which Uzbekistan has made to the development of Islamic civilization. We see it as a trust to our country as respected, responsible and influential state in the system of modern international relations. In our part, we consider it as an opportunity to make our own contribution to the development of the Organization and resolution of important tasks before it.

As CFM chair, along with all our partners, we hope to make a commendable contribution to further extend the OIC’s potential and discover the new prospects of cooperation, as well as assist in implementation of the noble goals stipulated in the Charter of our Organization.

I would like just to express hope that during our chairmanship we will be able to achieve a notable progress on the issues in the current agenda of the Organization and thus to further consolidate the unity of the Muslim Ummah.”

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

 

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