Foreign policy. 2004 year

19-20 january. President Islam Karimov made an official visit to Kuwait.  
Our official relations with Kuwait began in the first years of independence. However, real cooperation does not meet contemporary demands. Kuwait has great economic and investment potential and both countries are interested in improving ties in trade-economics. Both sides agreed on international political processes. Development of mutual relations, creation of favorable conditions for business contacts were the main aims of the visit.

President Islam Karimov met with President Islam Karimov Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Sabakh al-Akhmed al-Djaber as-Sabakh and discussed bilateral relations. They agreed that relations should be brought to a new level.  
There were talks between the official delegations. Agreement was reached on creation of a joint interstate commission, the first meeting of which is planned for summer in Tashkent. The Kuwaiti side said it would be expedient to open an Uzbek embassy in Kuwait.  
Uzbekistan cooperates with Kuwait in transport and communications, agriculture, energy and water supply. Kuwait has great investment potential, rich experience in rational use of energy and water resources. Both sides want to establish air links.  

24 february. President Islam Karimov met the US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. President Islam Karimov underlined at their meeting that this visit is yet another proof of the developing relations between Uzbekistan and the US and is a fine opportunity to exchange opinions on important questions.  
Our countries cooperate closely in political, social and economic spheres. The US supports Uzbekistan in strengthening market relations and democratic principles. Both countries fruitfully cooperate in the struggle against international terrorism, the narcotics and weapons trade, extremism and organized crime. Such ties serve as an important factor in the development of military cooperation, and the strengthening of regional security and stability.  
Cooperation in limiting the spread of weapons of mass destruction, including their technology and materials has been laid. There is a regular exchange of information.  

18 march. President Islam Karimov received the EU foreign affairs official Christopher Patten.  
Relations with the EU are growing. In 1996 in Florence the Agreement on partnership and cooperation was signed.  
To fulfill this document, several joint organs were set up, including the Uzbekistan-EU cooperation council, the cooperation committee, the committee for parliamentary cooperation and subcommittee on questions of trade and investment, justice, internal affairs and customs cooperation. They hold regular meetings. In January in Brussels there was a meeting of the Uzbekistan-EU council. Last year there was a meeting of the cooperation committee in Tashkent and the parliamentary cooperation committee in Samarkand. Uzbekistan actively cooperates with the EU in the framework of TACIS. EU technology help is provided for farming, energy, education, construction, infrastructure and ecology.  

15 april. President Islam Karimov met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  
They discussed Uzbek-Russian relations, regional and other international problems. President Islam Karimov congratulated President Putin on his victory in the recent elections. He said this is a factor in raising relations between Uzbekistan and Russia to a new level.  
Last year trade turnover grew 25.8% to $149.1m. The presidents underlined that there are reserves here. Further growth could take place in oil and gas, production, and light industry. Regular talks on a high level are an important impulse for developing contacts.  
Relations within the CIS and the SCO are increasing. The presidents discussed preparations for the upcoming SCO meeting in Tashkent.  

3 june. President Islam Karimov met with the secretary of the Russian security council Igor Ivanov.  
Welcoming the guest, President Islam Karimov said that the meeting is yet another chance to discuss questions of cooperation in security. During the visit of President Islam Karimov to Russia in April, it was noted that relations between Uzbekistan and Russia have reached a new stage of development.  
I.Ivanov took part in the meeting of secretaries of security councils of the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) on June 4 in Tashkent. It considered the geopolitical situation in Central Asia, the further development of cooperation in security, the joint struggle against terrorism, illegal drugs and arms.  
The meeting at Uzbekistan's initiative is supported by the Russian leadership.  
Uzbekistan proposed and achieved an agreement on conducting the meeting of ministers of economics and trade and secretaries of security councils prior to the Tashkent SCO summit. Cooperation in the SCO is in two directions – security and economics, so these meetings are very useful.  

14 june. At the invitation of President Islam Karimov Chinese Chairman Hu Tsintao arrived in Uzbekistan. He was met by President Islam Karimov and his wife at the airport.  
This is the first state visit of Hu Tsintao to Uzbekistan. It shows the great bilateral interest in further development of cooperation.  
President Islam Karimov and Chairman Hu Tsintao will discuss questions concerning cooperation, regional and international problems. Documents on broadening cooperation will be signed.  
Chairman Hu Tsintao will take part in the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) summit on June 16-17 in Tashkent.  

16-17 june. In Tashkent the regular meeting of the Council of Shanghai Cooperation organization (SCO) heads of state will take place, with the participation of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Chinese Chairman Hu Tsintao, Kirgizstan President Askar Akaev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov.  
Afghanistan acting head of administration Hamid Karzai and a delegation from Mongolia will take part in the SCO Council meeting as guests.  
During the Tashkent summit of the SCO, questions of the activity of the SCO and current international problems will be considered. The Council members plan to sign several joint documents. During the meeting there will be a ceremonial official opening of a Regional SCO anti-terrorist structure. (+audio)  

14 july. President Islam Karimov received the US Secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia Elizabeth Jones.  
“We favor all round development of relations with the US,” said President Islam Karimov. “This corresponds to the national interests of Uzbekistan.”  
President Islam Karimov noted that the Declaration on strategic partnership and the bases of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the US serves as an important factor in developing cooperation.  
The US is one of Uzbekistan’s largest trade partners. In 2003 trade turnover was $335.2m. In the first quarter of this year it was 24% higher than last year. There are 24 projects with US investment worth $2.383b in mining, oil and gas, agriculture, production and transport infrastructure.  
In Uzbekistan there are 316 enterprises created with involvement of US entrepreneurs. About 100 of them are 100% US financed.