WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, on Thursday.
The Secretary expressed the United States’ desire to deepen its strategic partnership with Uzbekistan, noting that the two countries celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations this year. The Secretary offered support for Uzbekistan’s continuing reforms, including strengthening human rights and democracy.
The Secretary commended Uzbekistan’s initiatives to improve relations within Central Asia, noting the two countries’ active cooperation through the C5+1 regional diplomatic platform. The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister for Uzbekistan’s continued support for a just and durable peace settlement in Afghanistan.
He also welcomed Uzbekistan’s focus on regional connectivity, including closer political and economic cooperation with Afghanistan in ways that would support prosperity and growth across Central and South Asia.
Before the meeting between the two leaders, Secretary Blinken said I am very pleased to have Foreign Minister Kamilov. We’ve spoken several times on the phone and by videoconference, but it’s very good to actually have you here in person.
A lot of good and important work being done this week on the vital relationship between the United States and Uzbekistan. We have strong shared interests when it comes to security in the region, particularly with regard to Afghanistan. Uzbekistan has been a leader in bringing countries in the region together, particularly with regard to economic and infrastructure connectivity, something else that we’ll talk about, as well as the bilateral relationship between our countries.
So welcome. It’s very good to have you here.
Similarly, Foreign Minister Kamilov said that first of all, I’d like to thank Mr. Secretary, Secretary Blinken, for inviting our interagency delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. We have a broad agenda during this visit, and we are going to exchange views on the state and the future of our bilateral relations, as well as we will pay serious attention to the situation in the region, in Central Asia.
And a lot has been changing in the world and in the region, and that’s why, as Mr. Secretary said, of course, we will exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan, too. And we have a lot of issues, a lot to speak about, and that’s why I’d like once again to thank the American friends we invite throughout the region. Thank you very much.