The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov. The Secretary affirmed the United States’ support for Uzbekistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister for Uzbekistan’s support of Afghanistan peace negotiations and Afghanistan’s integration into the Central Asian economic space. Noting the two countries would soon celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations, the Secretary and the Foreign Minister praised the growth in the bilateral relationship and looked forward to holding an inaugural Strategic Partnership Dialogue in late 2021. The Secretary welcomed Uzbekistan’s progress on its reform agenda, including when it comes to combatting trafficking in persons, protecting religious freedom, and expanding space for civil society. He also emphasized the importance of promoting the protection of fundamental freedoms, including the need to have a free and competitive electoral process.