On February 5, 2019, Uzbekistan delegation led by Deputy PM Tanzila Narbaeva, who had departed for the United States to attend the annual meeting of the Cotton Campaign, held meetings with the Deputy Assistant to the U.S. President Lisa Curtis, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor Michael Kozak in Washington on Thursday, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.
At the meeting with Lisa Curtis, the parties discussed the ways to enhance international cooperation in the field of human rights and expanding Uzbekistan’s role in the regional processes, including stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.
Lisa Curtis noted the first ever participation of the Uzbekistan delegation in the Cotton Campaign meeting as the evidence of Uzbekistan’s firm commitment to the full implementation of reforms aimed at protecting human rights and demonstrates Tashkent’s willingness for open and constructive dialogue on the most sensitive human rights issues.
The Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells also welcomed the intensified contacts with the international NGOs and noted that the transparency and openness of Uzbekistan reforms are conducive to strengthening of the country’s reputation.
She commended the well-established practice of constructive dialogue and exchange of views on all issues of Uzbek-American cooperation and noted that she was looking forward to her visit to Tashkent to attend the next round of bilateral consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries.
During the talks with Michael Kozak, the parties discussed the practical measures taken by Uzbekistan to eradicate forced labor, reform the agricultural sector, interact with civil society institutions, simplifying the registration and operation of non-governmental organizations, ensure media freedom and others aspects.
He emphasized the significant progress in ensuring religious freedoms, which were eveidenced by the Uzbekistan has been removed from the U.S. Department of State’s "list of countries of particular concern for religious freedom."