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Opinions & Interviews

1 Aug 2019

Mirziyoyev: Belarus, Uzbekistan willing to develop cooperation

Mirziyoyev: Belarus, Uzbekistan willing to develop cooperation

MINSK, 1 August (BelTA) - Belarus and Uzbekistan have a mutual desire to develop cooperation, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said during the one-on-one talks with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 1 August, BelTA has learned.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that this is the first visit of the Uzbekistan president to Belarus in the history of bilateral relations. Its preparation was thorough by both countries. “All agencies show a serious mutual desire to cooperate. Now we need to talk over the points of growth where we can interact long term. They are many,”  he said.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the talks with the Belarusian leader on 31 July were very informative, friendly. “We discussed the challenges and all that is happening in the world,” he said. In his view, decisions and agreements reached during the 25 years of bilateral relations are enforced and yield positive results. However, the potential has not been used to the full. “We should amp up the trade many times because there are all prerequisites for this,” the president said.

Revitalizing direct contacts between regions is one of the most important results of the visit, he believes. “The main achievement is that our regions started to cooperate. We should not hinder them but provide assistance instead. We have paved the way for their interaction,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.

The president emphasized Uzbekistan’s interest in establishing contacts with Belarusian companies. “We need cooperation. Over the years of its independence Belarus has made great headway in many areas. I always tell the government, the intergovernmental commission that we need to meet more often to create less paperwork and produce more results,” he added.

Today the leaders of the two states have a good opportunity to share views on a wide range of issues, including the international agenda, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said. It is of great importance for the two states as Uzbekistan lies in Central Asia and Belarus is located in the center of Europe. “The issues we are dealing today are similar,” the Uzbekistan leader said.

Later in the negotiations, with members of the delegations present, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the relations between the countries have been gaining pace especially rapidly in recent years. “Certainly regular dialogue at the highest level and our firm political will have played a decisive role in this. The results of your, Aleksandr Grigorievich, visit to Uzbekistan last year became truly groundbreaking in all avenues. New guidelines have been set for further practical cooperation. Most importantly is that we have created a favorable environment for the development of comprehensive trust-based mutually beneficial relations,” he said. “We have done a lot over the past few years. However, the potential and opportunities for our future work are huge,” he added.

The parties will shortly update the roadmap for cooperation between the two countries to formalize the specific assignments aimed at addressing the issues that were discussed during this visit, the Uzbekistan president said. In particular, this applies to the allocation of a land plot for an MTZ maintenance center, timely payments and financing of joint projects.  

According to him, Belarus' industrial giants such as BelAZ, MAZ, MTZ are well known in Uzbekistan. The produce high-quality and marketable vehicles. “We also have something to offer you. The intergovernmental commission should analyze thoroughly the trade flows and prepare specific proposals on ways of increasing the trade in the coming years. For the past two years, the trade has almost quadrupled. The pace is, of course, impressive. However, it is important to tap all reserves and balance the mutual trade,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.

Among the near-term priorities for cooperation is trade, uniform statistics standards in mutual trade. There is an interest in setting up joint clusters in agriculture and textile industry for joint development of the markets of third countries.

During the talks, the presidents discussed the prospects for cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union, industrial cooperation, technology exchange.  “We can offer you a large domestic market, and gateway to the most promising market of Afghanistan. Combining the efforts, Belarus and Uzbekistan might make a worthy contribution to the reconstruction of this long-suffering country.

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