Saturday, 23, March, 2019

I want to thank President Mirziyoyev and the Ministry of Defense of Uzbekistan for graciously hosting the Central and South Asia Chiefs of Defense Conference. In joining U.S. Central Command in hosting this conference, Uzbekistan is taking a leadership role in advancing security and stability in Central and South Asia.

I also want to thank all of the participating nations of Central and South Asia for demonstrating their commitment to regional security and for continuing to advance dialogue and cooperation on addressing the threats to stability in the region. The United States is committed to developing and advancing our collaboration while looking for constructive ways to contribute to the stability and sovereignty of our partners in the region.

I want to especially acknowledge President Mirziyoyev for taking a personal interest in the success of this conference, and for sharing his thoughts with me on how we can cooperate in the future on advancing regional security. I also want to congratulate Minister Kurbanov for his recent selection to serve as Minister of Defense and for his leadership in making this conference a success. Finally, I want to thank the people of Uzbekistan for their hospitality to me and to all of the participating Chiefs of Defense from Central and South Asia.

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