A Mag­nif­i­cent Tra­di­tion of Neigh­bor­li­ness

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - FRONT PAGE -

Any bi­lat­eral re­la­tions should ul­ti­mately meet the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple and work for the ben­e­fit of na­tions. To­day, al­most all news feeds are ac­com­pa­nied by sin­cere and joy­ful com­ments of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of two coun­tries, namely, Uzbek­istan and Ta­jik­istan.

Here are some of them: “Shavkat Mirziy­oyev’s visit to Ta­jik­istan and the sign­ing of his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments is an im­por­tant mile­stone in the his­tory of Cen­tral Asia. The two pres­i­dents have made a great con­tri­bu­tion to strength­en­ing friend­ship and good-neigh­bor­li­ness be­tween our peo­ples”;

“This is a clear ex­am­ple of what re­la­tions be­tween coun­tries and be­tween peo­ple should be! A res­i­dent of Ta­jik­istan writes “wel­come”, while Rus­sian and Uzbek sup­port each other! More and more I am proud of my Mother­land”;

“Ta­jik­istan is a huge mar­ket for goods and ser­vices from Uzbek­istan. We sell more to Ta­jik­istan than it does to us, so it is eco­nom­i­cally prof­itable for us to be friends with the Ta­jiks”;

“You need to be friends not only for the sake of eco­nomic gain, there are things more valu­able: good-neigh­bor­li­ness, peace, peace of mind.”

In 2017, the trade turnover amounted to $ 240 mil­lion. This is the high­est fig­ure for the last 20 years. At the same time, re­cip­ro­cal com­mod­ity de­liv­er­ies with­out ser­vices have grown more than ten­fold over the past two years.

Chair­man of the Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Ad­ham Ikramov: We are con­vinced that the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of trade, eco­nomic, cul­tural and hu­man­i­tar­ian ties ini­ti­ated by the two pres­i­dents will give an op­por­tu­nity in 2018 to reach new fron­tiers.

This is only a hun­dredth part of the peo­ple’s joy and sup­port for for­eign pol­icy ef­forts of the lead­er­ship of Uzbek­istan, aimed at de­vel­op­ing friendly re­la­tions with neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. But along with a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back on the Web, you can also come across cau­tious state­ments. For ex­am­ple, the ex­pert and head of the depart­ment of Cen­tral Asia and Kaza­khstan of the In­sti­tute of the CIS of the Rus­sian Academy of Sciences An­drei Grozin be­lieves that it is im­pos­si­ble to over­come ab­so­lutely all dif­fer­ences in one meet­ing. This is sim­ply not al­lowed by the laws of po­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics. Laws, can, and do not al­low, but to ig­nore the work that has be­gun and not to no­tice its re­sults, no one can. Judge for your­self.

The 9-10 March visit was the first state visit in the his­tory of Uzbek-Ta­jik re­la­tions. Be­fore leav­ing, the press sec­re­tary of the head of Uzbek­istan, Komil Al­lamjonov, said that 27 doc­u­ments were ex­pected to be signed in Dushanbe, the most im­por­tant of which are the Joint State­ment of the Pres­i­dents, the agree­ment on cer­tain sec­tions of the Uzbek-Ta­jik state bor­der and the ac­cord on mu­tual trips of cit­i­zens. How­ever, he warned that the num­ber of agree­ments could grow: “The Pres­i­dent of our coun­try works con­struc­tively and re­solves many is­sues on the spot”.

The con­struc­tive ap­proach turned out to be fruit­ful. Uzbek­istan and Ta­jik­istan once again demon­strated a de­ci­sive com­mit­ment to strengthen the part­ner­ship. It was de­cided to ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion in the light and food in­dus­tries, the pro­duc­tion of build­ing ma­te­ri­als, agri­cul­ture, the pro­cess­ing of fruits and veg­eta­bles, and cre­ate fa­vor­able con­di­tions for tran­sit and in­ter­re­gional part­ner­ship.

Par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion was paid to the vol­ume of trade, which does not cor­re­spond to the avail­able op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the heads of state, there is a huge po­ten­tial be­tween coun­tries for bring­ing it to $ 1 bil­lion. What mea­sures are needed to achieve this fig­ure?

First, the cre­ation of joint ven­tures and trad­ing houses, the sup­port of for­eign trade in­fra­struc­tures and ex­port-im­port op­er­a­tions, the con­tin­u­a­tion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion of bi­lat­eral busi­ness fo­rums and ex­hi­bi­tions of in­dus­trial prod­ucts.

Sec­ond, the full use of the com­mon trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties and tran­sit po­ten­tial of the two coun­tries. In this con­text, the is­sues of restor­ing the for­merly func­tion­ing and cre­at­ing new av­enues for road, rail and air traf­fic ac­quire top­i­cal im­por­tance.

Third, sup­port and stim­u­la­tion of di­rect con­tacts of busi­ness peo­ple.

“The econ­omy is our pri­or­ity,” the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan noted. “We will cre­ate all con­di­tions for ex­pand­ing trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion.” The words of the heads of state gave an im­me­di­ate launch to a few projects: in Dushanbe, the two pres­i­dents gave an of­fi­cial start to the launch of the re­stored sec­tion of the in­ter-state rail­way line Gal­aba-AmuzangKhushadi, the move­ment along which was dis­con­tin­ued in 2011. The lead­ers pressed a sym­bolic but­ton, launch­ing a rail­way com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the two coun­tries. In the tele­con­fer­ence mode, they ob­served the de­par­ture of the train along the line con­nect­ing Surkhandarya re­gion of Uzbek­istan and Khat­lon re­gion of Ta­jik­istan. Emo­mali Rah­mon called the re­sump­tion of the work of the line a big event. “Along with the in­crease in cargo traf­fic be­tween our coun­tries and the ex­pan­sion of trade and eco­nomic ties, this cre­ates pre­req­ui­sites for im­prov­ing so­cial and eco­nomic life in the south­ern re­gions of Ta­jik­istan, whose pop­u­la­tion ex­ceeds 3.5 mil­lion peo­ple,” he said.

Within the frame­work of the visit of Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev to Ta­jik­istan, a busi­ness fo­rum also took place. The event pro­vided in­for­ma­tion on the con­di­tions cre­ated in our coun­try for for­eign in­vestors, man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts, tax and cus­toms priv­i­leges for for­eign busi­ness. The Ta­jik side held a pre­sen­ta­tion of the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of its coun­try. On the eve of this meet­ing, the first Ta­jikUzbek busi­ness coun­cil was held in Dushanbe with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than a hun­dred rep­re­sen­ta­tives of small busi­nesses, pri­vate en­trepreneur­ship, in­ter­ested min­istries and de­part­ments. It signed con­tracts worth $ 20.5 mil­lion.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions at the high­est level demon­strated that the part­ner­ship will be strength­ened, the par­ties are ready to work shoul­der to shoul­der and act con­fi­dently to achieve new mile­stones. The ba­sis of this work were the doc­u­ments signed in Dushanbe fol­low­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions. They cre­ate a new le­gal frame­work for fur­ther com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment of mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tions be­tween coun­tries. Among them are the Joint State­ment on Strength­en­ing Friend­ship and Good Neigh­bor­li­ness and the Treaty on Cer­tain Ar­eas of the Uzbek-Ta­jik State Bor­der, as well as agree­ments aimed at fur­ther de­vel­op­ing co­op­er­a­tion in the ar­eas of trade, econ­omy, in­vest­ment, fi­nance, trans­port and tran­sit, agri­cul­ture, wa­ter and en­ergy, taxes, cus­toms, tourism, ed­u­ca­tion and sci­ence, health, cul­ture, in­ter­re­gional co­op­er­a­tion, se­cu­rity and coun­ter­ing crime.

Sum­ming up the re­sults of the state visit, Shavkat Mirziy­oyev and Emo­mali Rah­mon noted at the meet­ing with the me­dia that this his­toric visit was an im­por­tant step for reach­ing agree­ments that are in the in­ter­ests of the par­ties and will bring Uzbek-Ta­jik co­op­er­a­tion to a qual­i­ta­tively new level.

“We dis­cussed top­i­cal is­sues of strength­en­ing UzbekTa­jik re­la­tions in the po­lit­i­cal, trade-eco­nomic, trans­port­com­mu­ni­ca­tion, en­ergy and other pri­or­ity ar­eas. As a re­sult, to­day signed sig­nif­i­cant doc­u­ments: the State Bor­der Treaty and the Agree­ment on mu­tual trips of cit­i­zens,” the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan said. Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est doc­u­ment, cit­i­zens of two states can en­ter, leave, fol­low tran­sit and tem­po­rar­ily stay in the ter­ri­tory of a neigh­bor­ing coun­try with­out visas for up to 30 days.

The head of our state said that there were no un­re­solved is­sues be­tween Uzbek­istan and Ta­jik­istan. “We dis­cussed top­i­cal is­sues of strength­en­ing UzbekTa­jik re­la­tions in the po­lit­i­cal, trade-eco­nomic, trans­port­com­mu­ni­ca­tion, en­ergy and other pri­or­ity ar­eas. The agree­ments reached are of great im­por­tance not only for our peo­ples, but for the en­tire re­gion,” Shavkat Mirziy­oyev said. His opin­ion was sup­ported by Emo­mali Rah­mon.

The re­sults of the visit were also highly ap­pre­ci­ated by Ta­jik diplo­mats. “The long-awaited im­por­tant event in the his­tory of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions,” said Am­bas­sador Ex­tra­or­di­nary and Plenipo­ten­tiary of Ta­jik­istan to Kuwait Zubay­dullo Zubaidov. “In Ta­jik­istan, all the peo­ple were ea­gerly await­ing this visit of the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan Shavkat Mirziy­oyev. He opened a new page in our re­la­tions, be­came pos­si­ble thanks to the con­struc­tive, prag­matic and open re­gional pol­icy of the lead­er­ship of Uzbek­istan, as well as per­sonal friendly re­la­tions be­tween the lead­ers of the two coun­tries.

It is dif­fi­cult to con­vey in words the fes­tive at­mos­phere in Ta­jik­istan in con­nec­tion with the con­crete mea­sures taken by the par­ties aimed at restor­ing his­tor­i­cally friendly re­la­tions be­tween the two peo­ples that can never be di­vided. The adop­tion in a very short pe­riod of im­por­tant de­ci­sions on the open­ing of check­points, the set­tle­ment of bor­der is­sues, the re­sump­tion of land and air trans­port com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the abo­li­tion of a visa for 30 days demon­strates the true de­sire of the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan to ex­pand and strengthen po­lit­i­cal, trade, eco­nomic, in­vest­ment, cul­tural and hu­man­i­tar­ian co­op­er­a­tion with Ta­jik­istan.

Pres­i­dent Emo­mali Rah­mon al­ways spoke and stands for strength­en­ing friendly re­la­tions with the clos­est neigh­bor, Uzbek­istan. Such a pol­icy of the leader of our coun­try fully re­flects the sin­cere de­sire and as­pi­ra­tion of the Ta­jik peo­ple to pre­serve and deepen the clos­est re­la­tions with the Uzbek peo­ple. I am sure that bi­lat­eral re­la­tions are reach­ing a qual­i­ta­tively new level. The Ta­jik and Uzbek peo­ples, un­der the wise lead­er­ship of our pres­i­dents, will achieve great suc­cess.”

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