President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered an opening speech at the Sharq Taronalari music festival in Samarkand, the Presidency website said.
Greeting the attendees and guests the President pointed the importance of music in today's world. "In current extremely difficult times, when various challenges and threats are intensifying in the world, confrontations are exacerbating, the role and importance of music, which unites millions of people of different nationalities, languages and faiths, serves to further reinforce the ties of friendship, cooperation and harmony, is ever growing", Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that in this regard the Sharq Taronalari festival, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, has a special significance.
"Today, on this festive day, it is with deep gratitude that we commemorate the people who laid the foundations to the festival, who made huge contribution to strengthening of its international reputation. First and foremost, we pay tribute to the memory of the outstanding political and state figure, the first President of Uzbekistan, Islam Abduganievich Karimov. Islam Karimov loved Samarkand, the ancient Registan Square, which is the heart of this city, he loved the Sharq Taronalari, he said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the Sharq Taronalari festival gained high prestige thanks to its uniqueness, unifying goals, preserving the traditions of national musical art and facilitating cultural dialogue.
If only 56 performers from 31 countries attended the maiden edition of the festival, this year the festival is attended by some 241 performers from 58 countries.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE Christine Muttonen, Director General of the OIC Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri are the honorable guests of the festival.
In addition, General Director of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) Halit Eren, Asia Regional Executive Secretary of the International Organization of Folk Art Mun Hyun Suk, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Sergei Lebedev, Special Representative of the President of Russia for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi, representatives of the diplomatic corps and other guests are attending the festival.