Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister Gayrat Fozilov and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu held the third session of the Strategic Partnership Dialogue (SPD) in Tashkent on November 7. The U.S. State Department issued a joint statement following the meeting.
The delegations discussed the growing partnership between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the U.S. on political, economic, security, humanitarian and cultural matters. The U.S. reaffirmed its unwavering support for Uzbekistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, the statement reads.
Gayrat Fozilov noted the dynamism in bilateral relations and the comprehensive work done by both sides in 2023 to strengthen the strategic partnership. Donald Lu thanked Uzbekistan for the participation of President Mirziyoyev in the first C5+1 presidential summit that took place within the UN General Assembly of the UN General Assembly in the New York headquarters in September.
The United States reaffirmed support for Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization, the statement claimed. The sides discussed regional issues such as maintaining humanitarian support to Afghanistan and strengthening constructive partnership in the C5+1 diplomatic format.
The delegations expressed a desire to continue growth and diversification of trade and investment, promote agricultural reforms in Uzbekistan, empower women economically and jointly address the climate crisis. The U.S. side welcomed ongoing reforms in Uzbekistan to liberalize the economy, the statement read.
Gayrat Fozilov emphasized “Uzbekistan's commitment to continuing irreversible democratic reforms, including through such areas as promoting respect for human rights, such as freedom of religion and belief, combating human trafficking and corruption, and preventing gender-based violence.” Donald Lu noted the willingness of the U.S. to increase its assistance to support these reforms, the statement affirmed.
The delegations also highlighted “the importance of strengthening security cooperation by deepening ties between defense, law enforcement, border and customs agencies,” the statement asserted.
In addition, both sides stressed the importance of continuing cultural preservation initiatives, educational exchanges and programs in English, as well as the need to strengthen Uzbekistan’s healthcare system.
The next SPD is scheduled for 2024 to be held in Washington.
The Uzbekistan-U.S. SPD was opened in 2021 to discuss “a wide range of issues and shared priorities constituting an integral part of bilateral relations.”