February 26, 2019–U.S. Department of State South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ambassador Alice Wells and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov led a successful session of the U.S.-Uzbek Annual Bilateral Consultations in Tashkent. Ambassador Wells and Foreign Minister Kamilov highlighted the strong momentum in the U.S.-Uzbek relationship, building on the historic visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the United States in May 2018 and his meeting with President Donald Trump, which ushered in a new era of strategic partnership between their two countries.
“Uzbekistan has put itself back on the map, by adopting significant economic and governance reforms and by opening itself up to new opportunities for trade and investment, both with its immediate neighbors and the wider world. All of Central Asia benefits by Uzbekistan’s embrace of its rightful role on the world stage. The United States supports and encourages Uzbekistan’s reemergence,” Ambassador Wells said in her opening statement.
Reaffirming the U.S. commitment to this partnership and its support for President Mirziyoyev’s ambitious reform agenda, Ambassador Wells noted that U.S. assistance to Uzbekistan over the past year grew to approximately $28.1 million in fiscal year 2018, from $10.1 million in fiscal year 2016. The U.S. delegation encouraged further deepening of ties in a wide range of political, economic, education, security, cultural, and other fields, while reiterating strong support for Uzbekistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Ambassador Wells and Foreign Minister Kamilov underscored the significant potential for strengthening concrete forms of cooperation serving the interests of both countries, as well as overall peace and stability in the region.
Following the ABCs, the delegation signed two MOUs expanding cooperation in the energy and education sectors.
In conclusion, the United States and Uzbekistan reaffirmed the importance of the Annual Bilateral Consultations as an effective platform for comprehensively reviewing progress in the bilateral relationship and enhancing cooperation moving forward. The two sides agreed to hold the next round of Annual Bilateral Consultations in Washington in 2020.