Foreign policy. 2002 year

6 january. President Islam Karimov met a group of US senators headed by Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee Joseph Lieberman. 
“In the political and social-economic life of the US, the Senate plays a very important role,” said the President during the meeting. “Its activity became specially clear in the work to preserve stability in the US after the events of September 11 and in the fight against terrorism.

6 january. President Islam Karimov met a group of US senators headed by Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee Joseph Lieberman.

“In the political and social-economic life of the US, the Senate plays a very important role,” said the President during the meeting. “Its activity became specially clear in the work to preserve stability in the US after the events of September 11 and in the fight against terrorism.

“The attention of the world is now focused on Central Asia. Strengthening peace and stability in conditions unfolding in Afghanistan, preventing terrorist acts, strengthening cooperation are important tasks for the US as well as for states in the region, in particular, Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan actively participates in providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is highly appreciated by world society.”

9 january. President Islam Karimov received the Russian Foreign minister Igor Ivanov. The President said that this visit in the present rapidly changing world situation creates favorable possibilities to discuss the development of processes in the region.

Uzbekistan and Russia are strategic partners. After the state visit of President Karimov to Russia in May 2001, our mutual relations achieved new content. The struggles with crime, international terrorism, extremism, and narcotics have been reinforced bilaterally and multilaterally. Regional cooperation has increased in the framework of the Shanghai cooperation organization. Cooperation between Uzbekistan and Russia is broadening in economics. Trade turnover in January-November 2001 compared to last year rose 15% to reach $1.0286b. Both sides are trying to increase this, with JVs and aviation cooperation.

15 january. President Islam Karimov received the special envoy of the Japanese Prime minister and former leader Ioshiro Mori. The President said he was glad to exchange opinions on current bilateral relations and the international situation.

“We consider you a leading political figure who supports the all round development of cooperation between Japan and Uzbekistan. When you were the leader, there was an Uzbek exhibition in Tokyo which you visited. We know you have warm feelings for Uzbekistan and show a sincere interest,” - said Islam Karimov.

29 january. President Islam Karimov received a US delegation headed by assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Elizabeth Jones.

President Karimov expressed satisfaction in connection with the arrival of such an authoritative delegation from the US and the broad-based negotiations. In part he said: “We value this as proof of the desire of the US to achieve a qualitatively new relationship with Uzbekistan and to express US interest in further strengthening security and stability in our region.”

28 february. President Islam Karimov, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Tajik President Emolmali Rakhmonov and Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev met to discuss regional integration.

During the talks with delegations from each country, regional security, the situation in Afghanistan, illegal migration and economic cooperation were discussed. The formation of a free trade zone in the most important branches of the economy was also considered, as well as improving transport infrastructure and the effective use of water.

4 march. President Islam Karimov received the head of the interim administration of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.

During their talks they discussed the situation and prospects for development of Uzbek-Afghan relations, questions connected with the regulation of the situation in Afghanistan, the post-conflict rebuilding of the country and other urgent international and regional problems.

11 march. President Islam Karimov left for an official visit to the US.

The US was one of the first states to recognize independent Uzbekistan. In recent times, there have been many visits between the two countries, documents signed, and the legal basis for cooperation created. Mutually profitable cooperation in various spheres has been set up.

Before his departure, the President spoke with the mass media about the new level of relations.

“During the visit, 6 documents will be signed,” said President Karimov. “Among them is the new document on strategic partnership and cooperation between Uzbekistan and the US. It creates great possibilities for developing our ties in all spheres, further effective use of possibilities. This is especially important to guarantee the inviolability of Uzbekistan’s borders and guarantee the security of the country.

26 april. President Islam Karimov met Iranian President Said Mukhammad Khatami on his official visit to Uzbekistan. There was an honorary guard in honor of the high guest.

The presidents spoke one-on-one, discussing mutual relations and prospects for further cooperation. They emphasized increasing trade-economic relations, developing cooperation in transport communications and investment. They also spoke about international questions, especially the war against terrorism, strengthening stability in Afghanistan, and renewal of its economy.

Official delegations of both countries met in a broader forum to discuss partnership and cooperation. They noted the possibility of putting ties on a new level between each other and among many other countries in the region.

Transportation and communications is very important for economic cooperation. From 1996-2000 Uzbekistan shipped 34,000 tons of cargo through Iran, and in 2001 – 487,000 tons. The same year Iran shipped 750,000 tons through Uzbekistan.

9 may. The official visit of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder began May 9. A year ago, President Islam Karimov paid an official visit to Germany. Agreements and documents were signed to further deepen ties. Then, President Islam Karimov invited Chancellor Schroeder to Uzbekistan. The present visit shows the desire of both countries to further cooperation.

No doubt this visit will be an important step in furthering Uzbek-German relations. Talks are taking place on May 10 between President Islam Karimov and Chancellor Schroeder.

28 may. President Islam Karimov received a delegation headed by the chairman of the subcommittee for military supplies of the Armed Forces Committee of the US Congress Kurt Weldon.

President Islam Karimov noted that the meeting, following President Islam Karimov’s visit to the US in March, is yet another indication of the intensively developing bilateral relations with Uzbekistan, and a continuation of the dialog and striving for broadening cooperation.

Congressman Weldon took part in the session of the Uzbek-American trade council in Washington about economic cooperation. Active participation of congressmen in this council shows the importance attached to relations with Uzbekistan.

6 june. President Islam Karimov visited St Petersburg to participate in the Shanghai organization member heads of states meeting.

13 june. In Tashkent the NATO science committee is meeting. In connection with this the general secretary of NATO for science and environment, Jean Fournier came to Tashkent. He met with Foreign minister Abdulaziz Komilov on the eve of the meeting.

They discussed relations between Uzbekistan and NATO and cooperation in various spheres, noting that relations are at a high level. Uzbekistan takes part in NATO programs, and the present NATO committee meeting is further proof of the broad ties of Uzbekistan with NATO.

They also discussed regional problems, further partnership and further participation in NATO programs.

6-7 july. President Islam Karimov took part in the informal summit of Central Asian and Russian heads of state in Aktau, Kazakhstan. Such meetings have great significance in the integration of neighboring countries in economic, political and social spheres.

28-31 july. The visit of President Islam Karimov to Japan has begun. President Islam Karimov left Tashkent on July 28. The present visit is taking place as economic, political and social ties with Japan are growing and strengthening.

In an interview with the press at the Tashkent airport, the President said “We see ourselves as a developing country with a special place not only in Asia, but in the whole world, with great economic, financial, scientific and political potential. It is in our interests to expand relations with such states s Japan. Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world and strives for strong relations with Uzbekistan.”

The main purpose of the visit is to strengthen the legal bases for our ties. More than 10 documents will be signed. The most important is on bilateral strategic partnership. In March, during President Islam Karimov’s visit to the US, an agreement on strategic partnership was signed. This agreement has already shown its wide possibilities. Setting up such ties with yet another highly developed state, like Japan, is a great achievement in our politics.

18-20 october. UN General Secretary Kofi Annan made an official visit to Uzbekistan. He plans to hold talks with President Islam Karimov and attend other official measures, as well as visiting Samarkand and Bukhara.

At a press conference, President Islam Karimov said that the talks were held in a spirit of openness and sincerity and that they discussed many issues.

“During the dialog, many questions were raised,” said the President. “Questions of the fight with terrorism, regional security, the Aral sea, and relations between Uzbekistan and the UN were raised. We respect Kofi Annan not only as an official but also as a major political and social figure and Nobel Prize laureate. I am convinced after our talks that the UN is serious in its concern for questions affecting Uzbekistan and central Asia. Kofi Annan said they discussed effective use of water resources, state administration and human rights. He was pleased with intensive development of relations of Uzbekistan and the UN and hoped this would continue.

“The transition period is complex,” said Kofi Annan. “I am satisfied that my trip to central Asia will give me the opportunity to visit other countries of the region and learn the opinions of the heads of state. I hope that my visits to Samarkand and Bukhara will let me get acquainted with your country and people.”

20 october. Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski arrived in Uzbekistan on an official visit. President Islam Karimov and President Alexander Kwasniewski held one on one discussions. President Islam Karimov noted that President Alexander Kwasniewski coincides with the 19th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.

President Islam Karimov said the Uzbek people follow Poland’s progress and respect its potential and its achievements with respect to market reforms and entry into the EU. President Islam Karimov noted the common views of Uzbekistan and Poland on ecological problems and broadening integration. Poland is a member of NATO, and cooperation in the military field would be fruitful, as well as in the fields of training specialists and information technology.

27 october. President Islam Karimov left on an official visit to Hungary. He spoke to journalists at the airport.

Hungary, as with Poland and Lithuania, has authority and a determined position in Europe. All three countries will soon be members of the EU. With the broadening of ties with Hungary, it will be easier to activate cooperation with the EU and have access to the European market.

Hungary has high achievements in industry and agriculture. During the visit, we hope to learn more about its achievements in agriculture, and broaden cooperation there, said President Islam Karimov.

President Islam Karimov also spoke about the terrorist acts in Moscow. “The hostage-taking in Moscow worries not only the people of Russia, but of the whole world,” said President Islam Karimov. “It shows that international terrorism is an urgent problem that 21st c society must solve together. If world society does not liquidate it, then we cannot speak of security for any country or people. It is hard to understand the leadership of some countries who are indifferent to terrorist acts in other countries. It is a common human problem. Peace in Russia is our peace as well.”

30 october. President Islam Karimov received the acting chairman of the OSCE, Portugal’s Foreign minister Antonio Martinsh da Krusha.

“Recently, especially since the war against terrorism started, the cooperation between Uzbekistan and the OSCE has increased,” said President Islam Karimov. “The situation on our planet has radically changed. International society has recognized the necessity of uniting its forces against terror.”

Since independence, Uzbekistan has fruitfully cooperated with OSCE and other international organizations. On February 26, 1992, Uzbekistan became a member of the OSCE. This serves to help further strengthen our independence and integrate Uzbekistan into world society

6 november. President Islam Karimov received the state secretary of the Ministry of foreign affairs of France, Reneau Muzelle. He is visiting Uzbekistan with several members of the French senate. There are two troupings in French parliament which focus on Central Asia: a senate group “France-Central Asia” and a group “France-Uzbekistan” in the lower chamber. During this visit, an intergovernmental agreement on developing cooperation in civilian security dealing with emergency situations was signed.

During the meeting President Islam Karimov noted that he appreciates the attention paid in political circles of France to the development of all round cooperation with Uzbekistan. The relations between Uzbekistan and France are developing intensively. Along with political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation, there is increased military and parliamentary cooperation. France holds a leading place among trade and economic partners of Uzbekistan in the EU.