BAKU: President Aliyev in Uzbekistan for official visit

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
March 25 2004

President Aliyev in Uzbekistan for official visit

President Ilham Aliyev started a two-day official visit to Uzbekistan
on Tuesday. Aliyev held a private meeting with his Uzbek counterpart
Islam Karimov later in the day. The two presidents exchanged views on
prospects for the development of bilateral relations, security in the
South Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as on cooperation within

regional and international organizations. The development of economic
cooperation; including on increase in mutual turnover of goods and on
expansion of humanitarian and cultural relations were also centered
during the meeting. The private meeting was followed by a large
meeting of the Azerbaijani and Uzbek delegations.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said that President Aliyev’s visit to
Uzbekistan would open a new stage in the development of bilateral
relations. He also expressed his pleasure with the continuation of
the political course set by Heydar Aliyev. “Thanks to Heydar Aliyev’s
efforts, relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have reached the
highest level,” Karimov noted. Recalling that relations within
bilateral economic cooperation have been strengthened, the Uzbek
President said that the turnover of goods has reached $18 million
over the first two months of this year. Touching upon the Upper
Garabagh conflict, Karimov said Armenia should withdraw from the
occupied lands of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity
should be restored. Stating that Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan possess
common historical traditions and cultural values, Karimov said,
“These values will lay the groundwork for the development of
relations between our states and peoples.” President Aliyev, in turn,
said the Tashkent visit was of great importance for him. Aliyev
stressed that he would do his utmost to develop the bilateral
relations established by Heydar Aliyev and Islam Karimov. Recalling
the successful cooperation of the two countries within the framework
of several international projects, Aliyev set the Great Silk Way and
TRACECA projects as examples, noting that much work will be done in
this respect. The Azerbaijani President voiced his confidence that
Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan would acquire more achievements through
economic cooperation in the future.

Azeri-Uzbek relations
Recalling that Azerbaijan has recently purchased two IL-76 airplanes
manufactured in Tashkent, Aliyev characterized this deal as the start
of the strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation. He stated
that Azerbaijan was ready to work on larger projects in the future.
The large meeting was followed by signing of bilateral documents. The
two Presidents issued a statement after the signing ceremony. Later
Aliyev and Karimov unveiled a monument to great Azerbaijani poet
Nizami Ganjavi in the Uzbek capital. Later in the day, the
Azerbaijani President toured the Chkalov Aviation Production
Association and attended the opening ceremony of the new building of
the Azerbaijani embassy in Tashkent. During the visit the Azerbaijani
President is also scheduled to tour the historic city of Samargand.

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