The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Uzbekistan on the occasion of the annual United States-Uzbekistan Strategic Partnership Dialogue.
On December 13, 2022, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu hosted an Uzbekistani delegation, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov, for a productive annual Strategic Partnership Dialogue (SPD) in Washington. The U.S.-Uzbekistan SPD was inaugurated in 2021 to discuss a wide range of issues and shared priorities integral to the U.S.-Uzbekistani bilateral relationship.
Assistant Secretary Lu opened by reiterating the United States’ unwavering support for Uzbekistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The United States thanked Uzbekistan for its key participation in the C5+1 diplomatic format and underscored the importance the format holds in addressing challenges together and creating a more prosperous and secure Central Asia. The two governments also discussed Uzbekistan’s announced reform agenda. Assistant Secretary Lu reiterated support for implementation of the ambitious agenda and highlighted how the U.S. government provides practical assistance to advance the reforms, including in the areas of the economy, education, and respect for human rights for all. The delegations emphasized their determination to foster trade and investment partnerships and maintain a favorable environment for business activities in both countries. The delegations discussed media freedom, protection of journalists, and support for civil society. Additionally, the delegations discussed ongoing efforts regarding Afghanistan, to which the United States thanked Uzbekistan for its partnership in providing humanitarian assistance.
The delegations also discussed collaboration on key security issues such as strengthening border management and defense capabilities, as well as counternarcotics and counterterrorism. Assistant Secretary Lu highlighted Uzbekistan’s commitment to peace and security in the region.
The United States welcomed Uzbekistan’s willingness to establish new trade routes and diversify import and export markets, strengthen regional connectivity, its endorsement of the Global Methane Pledge and other efforts to combat the climate crisis, and its desire to advance its economic reforms, including in women’s economic empowerment. The United States noted its eagerness to support these efforts.
Noting the People-to-People Working Group Meeting held in September, Assistant Secretary Lu thanked Foreign Minister Norov for Uzbekistan’s support regarding ongoing English and education programs, which aim to invest in the professional development of the people of Uzbekistan. Assistant Secretary Lu also commended Uzbekistan for its interest in reviving a Peace Corps program in Uzbekistan and strengthening its cultural heritage protection efforts. Additionally, the two governments highlighted their willingness to continue their successful partnership in combatting the threat of serious diseases and ensuring quality health care.
Both the United States and Uzbekistan reaffirmed the value of the SPD in finding common ground on issues of deep mutual interest. Assistant Secretary Lu and Foreign Minister Norov jointly decided to reconvene the U.S.-Uzbekistan Strategic Partnership Dialogue in 2023.