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6 Jun, 2008 09:45

Medvedev meets Uzbek President

Uzbek President Islam Karimov suggested merging two regional organisations that Russia and Uzbekistan are members of. The Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Community have common goals and

DM: Islam Abduganievich – it is a delight to greet you in St. Petersburg, in Russia. For us Uzbekistan is a key strategic partner in Central Asia. Lately we have seen strengthening of economic and trade ties. We widen the areas of co-operation of different projects. There are also big plans for the future. We also value our co-operation in the area of security, law enforcement in this key region. And I hope that our discussion today will focus on the development of this direction in our co-operation, which I think is very important for our countries and our nations. So I cordially welcome you to Russia.

IK: Thank you very much, Dmitry Anatolievich, for your kind words about Uzbekistan. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate you again on taking the presidential post, wish all the best – health, good health and success in your difficult labour for the good of Russia.

DM: Thank you

IK: I would like to mention that relations with Russia have always been a priority for Uzbekistan. We highly esteem the relations that we have today between our countries. Not only does Uzbekistan esteem these relations, but we will also do everything possible to develop and strengthen these relations. In all the areas, such as political and diplomatic issues, as well as economic, cultural and humanitarian – co-operation is very important to us. I don’t want to burden you with numbers, I can only say that growth of co-operation in all these areas gives reasons to be optimistic. Sales are growing, the rate is over 4 bln US dollars. We have seen growth in the first quarter of this year already. But there are still many resources available, opportunities to use in development of our relations. So today is our first meeting, first discussion on these questions. I hope that those issues that we consider very important for developing and strengthening our relations will be addressed, and this discussion will bring good results. This will further stimulate development and strengthening of our relations. As far foreign policy of our countries, I must say that Uzbekistan totally supports Russia’s foreign policy. I don’t know of any areas where we would disagree. Our positions are the same on all key international issues. And I am convinced that there are no hidden factors that could potentially change this.

As far as our stand on the development of the CIS, these issues will be addressed at our informal summit today. I think our positions are very similar. I would describe the general approach as the need to not only keep, but also develop the CIS.

If we talk about some other interstate structures, I mean SCO and CSTO, our positions on development of these structures are also very similar.
I will not bring up serious questions today. I have said a number of times that according to our opinion in Uzbekistan, EurAsEC and CSTO have similar agendas, duplicate each other in many respects. At time EurAsES can’t even formulate their agenda on some issues. So my personal opinion and the Uzbek position is that we are to discuss these issues and find solutions so that we can create a powerful organisation on the basis EurAsES and CSTO, so we can use all the resources of this co-operation. And I am convinced that we could achieve much more and see better results.

DM: this is absolutely true, Islam Abduganievich, as different forms of integration help the development of our countries. In this respect our position is the same. As far as forms of integration, we will discuss this of course. It is a very serious, important topic – bilateral as well as with our other partners.