20 July 2023

The President of Uzbekistan put forward a number of proposals for the development of multilateral cooperation with the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf

On July 19, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the first summit of the leaders of Central Asian countries and the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf, the press service of the head of our state reports.

The event, chaired by the Crown Prince, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Muhammad bin Salman Al Saud, was also attended by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, the Emir of the State Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Emir, Crown Prince of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Mishaal Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister of the Sultanate of Oman Sheikh Asad bin Tariq al-Saeed, the Special Representative of the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the Secretary General of the Council, Jassim Muhammad al-Budaiwi.

In accordance with the agenda, issues of developing a constructive political dialogue, expanding trade, economic and investment cooperation, strengthening cultural and humanitarian ties were considered. An exchange of views took place on topical aspects of regional and international politics.

The President of Uzbekistan in his speech emphasized the deep historical interconnectedness of the peoples of Central Asia and the Gulf region, which is based on close trade relations, common values and traditions, the sacred religion of Islam.

The contribution of our outstanding thinkers and scientists to the development of historical ties between Maverannahr and the Arabian region was emphasized. One of them was the great theologian Imam al-Bukhari, also known as the “Sultan of all Muhaddiths.”

– We are proud that two of the six famous theologians of the Muslim world were born and raised in our region, and ancient Bukhara gained fame as “Kubbatul Islom” – “The Dome of Islam”. It is known that at the beginning of the 9th century, more than 200 scientists from Central Asia carried out their scientific activities at the Academy “House of Wisdom” in the capital of the Abbasid state. And such our great scientists as Al-Khwarizmi, Ahmad Fergani, Abu Raykhan Beruni, Ibn Sino, created their invaluable scientific works in the beautiful Arabic language, becoming famous all over the world, – the head of Uzbekistan emphasized.

Describing the current situation, the leader of our country noted that, despite the current risks and challenges, both regions continue to be a space of peace, stability and progress. The states of Central Asia and the Gulf are reliable and long-term partners.

It was stated with satisfaction that in recent years relations between Uzbekistan and the Gulf countries have risen to a qualitatively new level.

Taking into account this positive experience, it is proposed to expand practical cooperation between the two regions in a number of priority areas.

In the political sphere, the leader of Uzbekistan noted the importance of developing large-scale cooperation in various formats.

In order to bring the fraternal countries and peoples closer together, it was proposed to study the issue of developing a multilateral agreement on friendship, regional interconnectedness and cooperation.

The second direction is interaction in the field of high technologies and investments. The head of our state noted the need to create platforms and working mechanisms for cooperation in the field of innovation, artificial intelligence, green economy, digitalization, smart agriculture, nano- and biotechnologies. An initiative was put forward to create a Joint Council of Investors with the participation of business representatives and to hold its first meeting in the city of Samarkand.

– We are interested in the effective use of the potential of investment funds created in our region by partners and the expansion of the activities of the leading banks from the Gulf. I also consider it important to adopt a separate Roadmap for the joint implementation of projects in the field of green energy, the President of Uzbekistan said.

The third direction is the strengthening of trade and transport interconnectedness. The leader of our state emphasized the relevance of creating a free trade zone with the Gulf countries, harmonizing technical regulations and developing electronic commerce. In this regard, it was proposed to work out the issue of signing a multilateral trade agreement.

In the field of transport and transit, it is proposed to use favorable tariffs when using the Median Transport Corridor, the widespread use of existing multimodal routes, and an increase in direct flights using subsidy measures.

The leader of our country also called on the partners to take an active part in the strategic project for the construction of the Trans-Afghan railway, which will connect the Gulf states with Central Asia along the shortest route.

The next important area is ecology and climate change. The importance of developing an international Joint Research Program on the basis of the University for the Study of Environment and Climate Change of Central Asia, which is opening in our country, was noted.

The attention of the participants was drawn to the opportunities in the field of tourism. It was proposed to create a single visa-free tourist space “Gulf – Central Asia”, modern clusters and joint tourism products, as well as to hold a forum of leading tour operators of the two regions in the city of Khiva, which was declared the Tourism Capital of the Islamic World in 2024.

Separately, the issue of joint struggle within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation against cases of Islamophobia observed in the world was touched upon.

In addition, the need to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, radicalism and drug trafficking, as well as to protect young people from the spread of these threats through the Internet and other channels, was pointed out.

The President of Uzbekistan touched upon the issues of peace in Afghanistan.

“Our regions should be active and draw the attention of the entire world community to the problems of Afghanistan from high tribunes in order to make life easier for the Afghan people,” the head of our state emphasized.

In conclusion of his speech, the President of Uzbekistan expressed confidence that the results of today’s historic summit will serve to bring the multifaceted relations between the regions of Central Asia and the Gulf to a whole new level.

As a result of the event, a Joint Statement was adopted.

The summit participants supported the proposal of the Republic of Uzbekistan to hold the next meeting of leaders in the format of “Central Asia – Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf” in the city of Samarkand.