August 10, 2017
Of late, the media often find an assertion about the serious problems that have been accumulated among Central Asian countries, which are awaiting solution. But these issues, as the foreign minister of Uzbekistan A. Kamilov repeatedly noted, can be solved only on the basis of mutual recognition of interests. Uzbekistan is ready for such a dialogue.

Are our neighbors ready? We spoke about this with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kyrgyzstan Daniyar Sydykov, who in May this year formally began the duties of the head of the diplomatic mission.

- Mr. Ambassador, presenting his credentials to the President of Uzbekistan, you assured him of readiness to develop the friendly spirit set by our Presidents during their meeting in Uzbekistan. From what tasks do you plan to start your work in this direction?

- Indeed, the meeting of Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Almazbek Atambayev in Samarkand in December 2016 opened a new page in the relations between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The talks were held in a constructive manner, following the visit by President Almazbek Atambayev, specific assignments were given to the relevant structures, including the Embassy, to work out the issues on consolidating the agreements that had been adopted to translate them into real affairs.

Therefore, answering your question, it would be more correct to say that the Embassy is actively working in the "Samarkand spirit." It is aimed at strengthening and expanding good-neighborly relations. And this is of course the solution of issues of a trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian character, including delimitation and demarcation of state borders. The head of Kyrgyzstan has been saying for many years that "it is necessary to change relations with neighboring states and that even if there is a border, our people should not feel it."

After the Samarkand meeting our Presidents met twice in Beijing and Astana, they produced the so-called reconciliation of hours. Inter-MFA cooperation is going through an active stage, regular meetings of the foreign ministers supervising the deputy foreign ministers, my meetings with my esteemed colleague, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan in Bishkek are taking place. Serious work is underway to inventory the bilateral legal framework. The parties understand the need to update and improve bilateral documents. Draft international agreements are being prepared for signing at the highest and highest levels.

The activities of the Embassy are primarily aimed at increasing trade turnover, establishing friendly contacts between representatives of border regions and representatives of scientific, business, creative, sports, tourist circles of the two countries. It is very important to participate in exhibitions, concerts, symposiums, sports competitions, cultural events. And in this context, the Embassy seeks to establish and strengthen their direct contacts.

In February 2018, our states will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplom atic relations. The Embassy plans to organize a number of events timed to coincide with the anniversary date, including the holding of the Days of Culture of Kyrgyzstan in Uzbekistan and the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the birth of Chingiz Aitmatov.

We attach great importance to the development of parliamentary ties, the issue of arranging the visit of Kyrgyz parliamentarians to Uzbekistan is under consideration.

Today, probably, the most favorable and informative period in the history of our bilateral relations.

As for me, then, of course, I will make maximum efforts to develop and strengthen cooperation between fraternal states. Accepting his credentials, the respected Shavkat Miromonovich said many warm words, expressed his good wishes, said that "the new ambassador will make a great contribution to the rapprochement of the two states."

- What exactly do you think should be done to enhance trade and economic relations?

- In 2016, the volume of mutual trade between the countries did not exceed $ 200 million. Of course, for the neighboring countries with the potential for development, this is very small. Therefore, the promotion of economic diplomacy to increase investment and business projects between entrepreneurs of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan today is one of the priorities of the Embassy.

And, in this connection, returning to the solution of the initial tasks, I would like to note the concrete results from the moment of the Samarkand meeting.

On July 11 of this year, my meeting with the leadership of the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan took place, during which Mr. Begalov noted an increase in trade turnover between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan in the first quarter of 2017 1.5 times, compared to the same period last year. At the same time, with a noticeable increase in the volume of Kyrgyz exports to Uzbekistan.

Since 1996, the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Cultural-Humanitarian Cooperation has been working. Seven meetings of the commission were held. Currently, the Embassy is actively working on the issue of holding the next IGC meeting in Cholpon-Ata, where joint efforts can determine new levels of trade and economic cooperation and outline priorities in the most important and significant areas.

July 12, 2017, in Tashkent, regular bilateral consultations of the aviation authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The parties discussed the issues of opening an air service from potential points of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the international Issyk-Kul airport, accrediting representative offices of the designated Kyrgyz airlines in Uzbekistan, issues related to flights by designated airlines, and expansion of the geography of flights, exchange of experience.

Undoubtedly, the development of economic cooperation will be facilitated by holding business forums, exhibiting the achievements of the two countries, participating in fairs held in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, setting up joint enterprises for the assembly of cars, trucks, buses, agricultural machinery, service centers, Preparations, processing of agricultural products, logistics centers, taking into account the entry of Kyrgyzstan into the EEA, the opening of trading houses. In this regard, issues of holding a joint Kyrgyz-Uzbek business forum and an exhibition of achievements of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tashkent are currently being worked out, in which more than 150 businessmen from Kyrgyzstan are expected to participate. In addition, it is planned to conduct visits of mayors of Bishkek A. Ibraimov to Tashkent and of Osh city A. Kadyrbaev to the Andijan region with a simultaneous business forum for Osh and Andijan entrepreneurs.

Bilateral cooperation in the sphere of tourism is developing rapidly. In April this year, more than 200 contracts worth $ 2.5 million were signed between the tourism operators of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan within the framework of participation of the Kyrgyz delegation at the International Uzbek tourist exhibition "World of Rest". The concrete result of the Embassy's work was the opening on July 4 of this year of the charter flight "Tashkent-Issyk-Kul ". The issues of renewal of railway and bus communication between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are being worked out, which, undoubtedly, will create favorable conditions for expansion of tourist ties.

We hope that all this will affect the increase in the volume of trade. In general, and, most importantly, we expect a reduction and a gradual removal of barriers and restrictions on the border posts of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

- Currently, according to the Strategy of 2017-2021 implemented in Uzbekistan, priority is given to the development of ties between the Uzbek regions and the regions of Kyrgyzstan. How do you see interregional cooperation between our countries?

- Osh, Batken and Jalal-Abad regions of Kyrgyzstan border Namangan, Andijan, Ferghana regions of Uzbekistan. There, for centuries, the peoples established friendly ties, and many of them have already been interwoven with related ties.

Earlier, when respected Shavkat Miromonovich was still only acting as the head of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan offered to hold a forum of friendship, establish friendly contacts between the border regions of the two countries. The Uzbek side supported our proposal and first invited us to visit.

In October 2016, the delegation led by the First Vice Prime Minister visited Andijan, where promising areas of cooperation were discussed. The main achievement of the talks is the signing of a Memorandum on the intensification of relations between the oblasts in all areas. Since then, as you probably already noticed, the situation in the areas bordering with Uzbekistan is calm. In the event of any particular problem situations, the issues are resolved in a constructive and friendly manner.

Later, on October 26, we invited the Uzbek delegation to Osh city with a return visit. Then an agreement on cooperation between Osh and Andijan universities was signed. Surprised that students from 26 countries study at the Osh University, Uzbek people noted that they have something to learn.

In February this year, in three oblasts of Uzbekistan, the tours of the artists of the Osh State Academic Uzbek Musical and Drama Theater named after Babur. The Mukimi Uzbek State Musical Theater visited with tours of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken regions.

July 24 this year, a meeting of law enforcement agencies of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Currently, as noted above, the visit of the Mayor of Osh to Andijan is being prepared. All this contributes to the increase of confidence measures in the border areas. I am confident that such cooperation will continue in the same vein.

July 28, 2017, in Bishkek, the sides signed the Agreement between the Governments of Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic on the construction of a general school in the city of Osh for 630 pupils at the expense of the Uzbek side and the free transfer of this property to the Kyrgyz side.

- At the Astana summit of the SCO, India and Pakistan have become its full members. How will the extension affect the agenda of the organization?

- Speaking at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State in an expanded format, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Sharshenovich noted that "the Summit will open a new page in the history of the SCO development". Indeed, with the accession of India and Pakistan, the SCO became the largest regional association with 8 full members. Now the SCO will unite more than 40% of the world's population and 20% of global GDP.

I believe that with the expansion of the SCO, new political and economic conditions will begin to form for joint work within the organization.

Of course, cooperation in the field of security remains as the main point in the agenda. But as we see, in order to achieve the proper level of cooperation in this area, to enhance stability, improve the well-being of the peoples of the SCO member states, effective development of trade and economic cooperation is of no small importance. President Almazbek Atambayev noted the need for further development of mechanisms for interaction within the organization and financial component. In this regard, he proposed to intensify the work on the establishment of the SCO Bank with its deployment in Kyrgyzstan.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


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