The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
On December 13, 2021, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov and U.S. Department of State Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Assistant Secretary Donald Lu led a successful inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Uzbekistan Strategic Partnership Dialogue in Tashkent.
The United States reaffirmed its unwavering support for Uzbekistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Assistant Secretary Lu welcomed Uzbekistan’s ongoing program of reforms aimed at liberalizing the economy, promoting respect for human rights and protecting fundamental freedoms, and developing democratic institutions and civil society, and highlighted increasing U.S. assistance to support these reforms. The delegations reaffirmed the importance of, and support for, Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization and exchanged views on opportunities to increase U.S. private sector trade and investment in Uzbekistan. The sides stressed the importance of strengthening security cooperation by deepening ties between defense departments, law enforcement agencies, and border and customs authorities.
Foreign Minister Kamilov thanked the United States for the provision of over six million doses of vaccines in partnership with COVAX. The United States underscored its support for Uzbekistan’s efforts to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides noted the 2021 UN General Assembly resolution on the Aral Sea region and highlighted their pledges to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The delegations also affirmed their shared interest in strengthening people-to-people ties through academic and research exchanges, and opportunities for vocational, English-language, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programming. The United States underscored its support for Uzbekistan’s efforts to combat gender-based violence and discrimination, increase women’s representation in decision making processes, and modernize its education system. Uzbekistan highlighted the importance of cultural heritage preservation and expressed interest in concluding an agreement on the protection of cultural property.
The delegations expressed their interest in further expanding cooperation in promoting respect for freedom of religion or belief, combating human trafficking, promoting respect for women’s rights, and supporting independent media and civil society. The U.S. delegation recognized Uzbekistan’s continuing progress in combatting forced labor and eradicating torture, reaffirmed its support for further institutionalization of reforms, and outlined the potential of further U.S. programming to capitalize on progress.
The Foreign Minister and Assistant Secretary Lu expressed the commitment of Uzbekistan and the United States to continue humanitarian support directly to the Afghan people. The United States expressed appreciation for the services made available to humanitarian actors at the Termez Cargo Center and welcomed Uzbekistan’s initiative to create a regional logistics hub in Termez under the auspices of the United Nations to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. Both sides spoke in favor of further intensifying regional engagement through the C5+1 and the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
The sides jointly decided to continue a constructive exchange of views on topical issues through expert-level working groups. The delegations discussed a timetable of major events for 2022, including preparations for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Foreign Minister Kamilov and Assistant Secretary Lu affirmed their intention to hold the next meeting of the Dialogue in 2022 in Washington, D.C.