Moscow, March 1. Uzbekistan and the United States will join forces to strengthen security in Central Asia, Uzbek Foreign Minister Bajtiyor Saidov said today after meeting with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken.

“I had a very productive meeting with the US Secretary of State. We agreed to work together to create the conditions for increased trade, capacity building in Uzbekistan and strengthening regional security in Asia central,” Saidov wrote on his Telegram channel.

Saidov also thanked his counterpart for Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyóyev’s “continued support for the reform agenda” of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyóyev, aimed at “ensuring good governance, the rule of law and human rights, as well as to deepen the good and friendly relations with our neighbours”.

Blinken will also meet the Uzbek head of state this Wednesday, precisely to find out more about the reforms proposed by Mirziyóyev.

Uzbekistan ranks 149th in The Economist’s 2022 Democracy Index out of 167 countries and is considered an authoritarian regime. Within a year, it gained a place in the index.

Mirziyóyev, 65 and who won re-election in 2021 with 80.1% in 2021, cemented his popularity on economic openness and timid liberal reforms, such as tackling child exploitation in the Uzbek cotton harvest.

Blinken arrived last night in Uzbekistan for his first trip to the Central Asian country as the head of US diplomacy.

The day before, he had participated in the Kazakh capital, Astana, in the meeting of the C5 + 1 platform with five countries of the region (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan), which Russia considers as its backyard.

To all, he reiterated US support for their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and warned them of the consequences of remaining neutral in the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.

The five former Soviet countries have not joined Western sanctions against Russia, with which they have strong historical, economic and even military ties through various regional alliances, but have more or less clearly advocated for the territorial integrity of Russia. ‘Ukraine. EFE



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