Mark Bonnell, President of the Association "Avicenna-France"

- I pay a high tribute to the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. Thanks to his wise leadership, the people of Uzbekistan continue to live in peace and security and to this day.

I had met and talked with Islam Karimov for the first time on November 2, 2006 in Khiva, during the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Khorezm Academy of Mamun. We talked about the history and the richness of cultural relations between France and Uzbekistan. Later that evening I had the chance to be with him at the inner fortress of Khiva Ichan-Kala, and we conducted this event together with our Uzbek friends in an atmosphere of great celebration.

In May 2014 I had the honor to participate in the International scientific conference in Samarkand on the theme: "Historical heritage of scientists and thinkers of the medieval East, its role and importance for the modern civilization". In his speech at the opening ceremony the President praised the work of the Association "Avicenna-France" and thanked for their contribution to the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Uzbekistan and France.

Islam Karimov was a great statesman who headed his country in a difficult period of its formation and led the republic to the path of prosperity for the benefit of its people through profound political, economic and social reforms.

Today we remember Islam Karimov with sincere warmth and thank him for his immense contribution to the strengthening of the spirit of peace and friendship between our peoples. We will remember this always.