WASHINGTON DC: On November 20, U.S. Department of State Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Dean Thompson and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov led a successful session of the U.S.-Uzbekistan Annual Bilateral Consultations in Washington.
The spokesperson of U.S State Department revealed that United States and Uzbekistan highlighted deepening U.S.-Uzbekistan ties, building on the visit of Secretary of State Pompeo to Tashkent in February 2020, which reinforced the new era of strategic partnership between the two countries.
U.S States Departments press release mentioned that U.S reaffirmed its strong commitment to this partnership and support for the reforms being implemented in the Republic of Uzbekistan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thompson noted U.S. assistance to Uzbekistan grew to nearly $100 million in 2019, a ten-fold increase from 2016, he said.
In addition to this during the meeting United States encouraged the further deepening of ties across a wide range of political, economic, education, health, security, cultural, and other fields, while reiterating strong support for Uzbekistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Both sides emphasized the significant potential to strengthen cooperation in areas that would serve the interests of both nations, as well as peace and stability in Central Asia.
The spokesperson remarked that both states recognized the serious threats posed by international terrorism, violent extremism, trafficking in persons, and transnational crime to both Uzbekistan and the United States, the two sides encouraged closer cooperation and increased exchanges to promote regional security, he added.
Additionally, United States and Uzbekistan recognized the necessity of meeting obligations and provisions under UN Security Council Resolution 2396 to counter terrorist travel. The United States announced it intends to provide over $9 million in assistance this year to combat transnational organized crime and promote rule-of-law and anti-corruption initiatives, he mentioned.
During the session the parties also reaffirmed their strong commitment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan and discussed concrete steps to promote a meaningful reconciliation process. Uzbekistan emphasized its ongoing efforts to enhance economic, trade, educational, and cultural ties with Afghanistan and increase its connectivity with Central Asia, and both sides reaffirmed their support for outcomes from the May 27, 2020, U.S.-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Trilateral Meeting and subsequent working groups, he added.
The United States and Uzbekistan also reaffirmed their shared interest in advancing multilateral cooperation throughout the region, including through the C5+1 framework, he stated.
During the meeting both parties announced the decision of their governments to elevate the annual U.S. – Uzbekistan bilateral consultations to a Strategic Partnership Dialogue. Within this Dialogue, the United States and Uzbekistan intend to pursue closer cooperation across political, security, economic, and human dimensions. PDAS Thompson and Foreign Minister looked forward to holding the inaugural Dialogue in Tashkent in 2021, the official spokesperson commented.