President Shavkat Mirziyoyev today arrived on an official visit to Paris, the presidential press service said. This is the first visit of an Uzbek president to France in more than 20 years. The late president Karimov visited France twice - in 1993 and 1996. In April 1994, French President Francois Mitterrand visited Uzbekistan with an official visit.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev started his visit with a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted the symbolism of the fact that his official visit to France began with a meeting at UNESCO office. Audrey Azoulay supported the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan to set up in Samarkand of Mirzo Ulugbek International Institute under the auspices of UNESCO which aims at building the culture of peace, tolerance and preventing extremism, as well as the Regional Center for Information and Communication Technologies in Education under the University of Information Technologies and opening a UNESCO Chair at the International Tourism University in Samarkand.
An agreement was reached on holding a regional forum of young scientists in Central Asia in Uzbekistan, as well as the Asian Forum "Information Technologies in the Service of Cultural Heritage Conservation" in 2019 in Tashkent.
The chief of UNESCO highly appreciated Uzbekistan policies aimed at preserving its cultural and historical heritage. The Uzbek leader reaffirmed the desire to expand partnership with UNESCO in preserving the country's architectural heritage.
In the end of the meeting, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Audrey Azolay signed the Cooperation Program until 2021, aimed at developing the ties between Uzbekistan and UNESCO.