In a landmark event for bilateral relations, the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has embarked on a state visit to Uzbekistan. The visit, a first in the history of diplomatic relations between the two countries, heralds a new era of increased cooperation and partnership. The talks, held at the congress center in Samarkand city, were led by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The meeting focused on the expansion of trade-economic, investment cooperation, and cultural-humanitarian exchange. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, at the onset of the dialogue, expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and the invitation to visit Uzbekistan.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, during the talks, identified Qatar as a promising partner within the Middle East region and the Arab-Muslim world. He highlighted the recent advancements in bilateral relations between the two countries, partly attributable to the recent establishment of the Qatari embassy in Tashkent. The Emir of Qatar reciprocated this sentiment, foreseeing the opening of the Uzbekistan Embassy in Doha as a catalyst for strengthening their bilateral ties.
Both parties expressed readiness to boost mutual trade indices and implement joint investment projects. The leaders agreed on the participation of Qatar’s leading firms in the execution of extensive investment projects in sectors including energy, gas and chemical industry, agriculture, infrastructure, logistics, tourism, and more, valued over $12 billion in total.
To expedite the financing mechanisms for these joint projects, a proposal was put forth to hold the Uzbekistan-Qatar investment forum in September this year. The heads of state acknowledged the need for forming quick, reliable, and safe corridors connecting Central Asia with the Gulf countries, facilitating trade and logistics.
The leaders also committed to promoting cultural, educational, and tourism exchanges, including arranging joint cultural days, concerts, exhibitions, crafts, and culinary demonstrations. The establishment of regular flights between the capitals was recognized as a pivotal step for enhancing business relations and boosting mutual tourism.
The discussion also extended to issues of global and regional significance, including a mutual emphasis on a pragmatic approach towards Afghanistan. Both parties agreed on the necessity to support Afghanistan’s economy and provide humanitarian assistance to its people. They also explored prospects for jointly promoting the strategic project for the establishment of the Trans-Afghan railway.
Concluding the meeting, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani extended an invitation to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to visit Qatar, signifying a continuation of their burgeoning relationship.
In the aftermath of these high-level negotiations, a signing ceremony of 15 bilateral documents took place, witnessed by both leaders. These documents aimed to fortify cooperation in trade-economic, investment, cultural-humanitarian, and other sectors. Notably, agreements on mutual promotion and protection of investments, prevention of double taxation, customs affairs, labor relations, higher education and scientific research, and cultural cooperation were signed.
Additionally, memoranda on cooperation in fields such as trade, agriculture and food, plant quarantine and protection, sports and youth work, and between the cities of Tashkent and Doha were adopted. An agreement was also established between the foreign affairs and justice ministries to form a joint platform for financing cooperation programs and priority investment projects from 2023-2025.
This historic visit underlines a new chapter in the diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Qatar, laying a solid foundation for a comprehensive partnership, bridging the gap between Central Asia and the Arab-Muslim world.