Monday, 22, April, 2024

The meeting of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Intergovernmental Commission on bilateral cooperation was held yesterday, in which Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov made opening remarks: "I am sincerely glad to meet you.

Firstlt I think it is worth mentioning that on July 4, 2017, the first Tashkent-Tamchi (Kyrgyzstan) direct flight was launched, which will allow Uzbek nationals to have holidays in the Issyk-Kul lake. The development of good-neighborly relations with Uzbekistan is one of the priorities of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy. It is pleasant to witness the stepping up of bilateral ties aimed at developing and strengthening Kyrgyz-Uzbek cooperation. The last meeting of the intergovernmental commission on bilateral cooperation was held back in 2009, the press service of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic reports.

"This commission is a good platform for discussing all bilateral issues on agenda. The development of relations between the two peoples is impossible without removing barriers and restrictions," he added.

"Eight years have elapsed since the last meeting of the Commission on Bilateral Cooperation. This is a quite a long break. In this regard, Kyrgyzstan warmly received the words of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev that the Central Asian region is of Uzbekistan's top foreign policy priority. Namely - strengthening and developing relations with neighboring countries. The heads of states gave a powerful impetus to the bilateral ties during the visit of the President Almazbek Atambayev to Samarkand in the end of 2016. To step up cooperation, we need to adopt a bilateral trade and economic cooperation roadmap, " Sooronbai Jeenbekov said.

He emphasized the importance of resuming the work of checkpoints on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek state boundary.

"This will facilitate free movement of goods, implementation of joint investment projects, creation of joint Kyrgyz-Uzbek enterprises, logistics centers and processing capacities. In addition, Kyrgyzstan is interested in long-term supplies of mineral fertilizers from Uzbekistan, enhancing of air, road and rail links, which boost the two-way trade turnover and tourist flows," the Head of Government said.

Sioronbay Jeenbekov noted that the two-way trade turnover increased by 1.8 times in Q1 2017 to the same period last year.

"We are not going to stop there, there is a huge untapped potential that needs to be fully utilized. We are ready to import mineral resources, cotton fiber, cars, medical products from Uzbekistan. In turn, the Kyrgyz side has a lot to offer to Uzbekistan as well, like food products and processing industry products, as well as textiles and others. In this regard, it is necessary to work on removing all barriers and restrictions. In addition to trade and economic cooperation, the development of cultural and humanitarian ties between our peoples is also important, we have a common history, similar customs and language. This is what unites our people and puts on us the responsibility to boost cultural and humanitarian ties. In this context, we welcomed the holding of the Days of Uzbek Culture in Kyrgyzstan in October 2017 and are ready to provide maximum assistance to holding this event at the highest level again," he noted.

Kyrgyzstan for Uzbekistan is a close neighbor, a reliable and long-term partner. The Uzbek PM Abdulla Aripov said in his remarks.

"Our countries are closely linked and have a common history, traditions and cultural values. We are ready for a constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation on the unshakable principles of good-neighborliness and mutual respect, with respect to each other's interests," he said.

He stressed that since September 2016, Uzbek- Kyrgyz ties have visibly stepped up in all key areas.

"This became largely possible due to the constant contacts between the two presidents, who have opened an entirely new page in Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations," he said.

The Uzbek PM noted that today's intergovernmental commission after an 8-year break is considered as a good opportunity for an in-depth analysis of the current state of bilateral relations and preparing practical measures to expand them.

"We are exerting all efforts to expand trade and economic relations. We hope that with each year the turnover will keep doubling to the previous year," Abdulla Aripov said.

He added that Uzbekistan has a number of new high-tech industries, in particular automotive, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, home electronics and construction materials industries.

Touching upon issues of cultural and humanitarian cooperation, Abdulla Aripov said that the Uzbek side will make every effort to develop them.

"This year we propose to hold Uzbek Culture Days in Kyrgyzstan. In 2018, we expect the holding of Kyrgyzstan's Culture Days in Uzbekistan," the Head of the Government of Uzbekistan noted.

At the end of the meeting, Abdulla Aripov said that these talks mark the beginning of compensating the lost time.

"By holding more meetings and furthering our ties we will overcome all barriers that hamper the development of our bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation," he concluded.

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