Trust as a crucial factor of mutually beneficial cooperation
| The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev paid a working visit to Uzbekistan on 3 November, UzA reported. |
Uzbek and Kazakh nations have been bound by the commonness of language, religion, history and culture for many centuries. For them, good neighbourly relations are a valueless heritage received from the ancestors.
Over the years of independence cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan has expanded and been taken to a higher level supported by mutual trust and interest. Bilateral relations between the countries are of special importance to the development of Central Asia, and strengthening of regional stability. From this point of view, the regular visits of the heads of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and their negotiations on the urgent issues fall within the interest areas of both countries and the region as a whole.
This year, Uzbek-Kazakh relations have gone through substantial changes. President Karimov paid a state visit to Kazakhstan, and Kazakh President Nazarbaev has paid a visit to Uzbekistan. The Presidents met several times during the summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the European Economic Community.
During the Uzbek-Kazakh Summit held in March of this year in Tashkent, the parties decided on the establishment of the Interstate Coordination Council under the patronage of the Presidents. In the early September, during the summit in Astana, this agreement was legally bounded by the signing of a corresponding protocol. Thus, an effective mechanism for the implementation of the bilateral agreements, monitoring of their implementation, and quick reaction to and solution of the urgent issues concerning bilateral relations was created.
On 3 November, an informal meeting between the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev was held at Durmen residence. Meetings like this usually take an open, free and business format.
The Presidents discussed a number of issues concerning Uzbek-Kazakh relations, cooperation within the framework of international organizations, and exchanged views on several regional and international problems, particularly, situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. The sides also discussed the preparations to the summit of CIS. It was emphasized that both parties were equally interested in the development of bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting with mass media it was noted that the parties were satisfied about the results of the negotiations, and that the dialogue was held with an open spirit. The Summit was called the first session of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Council under the patronage of the Presidents of two states.
"We have discussed a wide range of issues concerning bilateral cooperation," Islam Karimov said. "We have exchanged opinions on a number of international problems." The President of Kazakhstan told the Uzbek leader about the results of his visit to the United States of America. They exchange opinions on the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. They also discussed the preparation for the CIS Summit, and approaches to its reformation. They found their viewpoints matching on the fact that the Commonwealth should equally serve the interests of all member-states.
Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that several state visits between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were paid in 2006, trade and economic cooperation continued to expand. Trade turnover, he said, was expected to grow by 30 percent in 2006. - The results of nine months exceed 450 million US dollars, said Kazakh President. "We are planning to increase annual trade turnover volumes to 1 billion US dollars. We have all the necessary capacity for this."
The Presidents said they constructively discussed the issues regarding further expansion of bilateral cooperation. It was decided to give the appropriate orders to the government agencies concerned. In particular, it was agreed on the organization of trade points on the territories near the border and improvement of the legal aspects of their activity. They also considered the possibilities of reducing the list of goods not included in the free trade regime, which should assist the growth of bilateral trade turnover.
Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbaev noted that among other issues discussed were the problems concerning water-use, energy and communication. The parties agreed on cooperation in the military-technical sphere. As a part of this cooperation it was decided on the inclusion of Military Attaches in the embassies of the two countries. It was also agreed upon expansion of cooperation in the issues of staff preparation.
"We will continue to hold such meetings in the future," Islam Karimov said. "If the need for bilateral dialogue arises, we will meet and quickly solve all the urgent problems. Such practice is very important in further integration between the countries, strengthening of mutual trust, development of common positions on certain issues," he added.
"We are great neighbours," Nursultan Nazarbayev said. "The emergence of certain issues in the framework of bilateral relations is natural. In view of this fact, we have commissioned the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to establish constant contacts and mutual consultations." The statements made by the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan illustrate that the relations between the two countries are developing dynamically in the best interest of both nations.
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