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Russian, Uzbek foreign ministers to discuss bilateral ties, situation in Central Asia

Uzbekistan will also inform Russia about the preparations for a high-level international conference on Afghanistan

MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov on Friday to discuss bilateral relations and the situation in Central Asia.

The Uzbek foreign minister is paying a working visit to Moscow to focus on the implementation of agreements reached during the state visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Russia in April 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"During the upcoming contacts, the sides will discuss current issues of bilateral relations, the situation in Central Asia and exchange views on the topical issues of international and regional agenda of mutual interest," the ministry said. "Special attention will be paid to the situation in Afghanistan and the goal of boosting international efforts to assist national reconciliation in the country."

Uzbekistan will also inform Russia about the preparations for a high-level international conference on Afghanistan, "Peace process, cooperation in the sphere of security and regional interaction," scheduled for March in the capital Tashkent.

During the Uzbek delegation’s visit to Moscow, the sides plan to sign programs on cooperation between the two countries’ foreign ministries for 2018-2019. The delegation also includes Viktor Makhmudov, Secretary of the Security Council under the president of Uzbekistan.

Besides the talks with Lavrov, the Uzbek top diplomat and the Security Council chief are scheduled to meet in Moscow with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Visit set to enhance bilateral ties, regional stability

According to the Russian diplomats, the Uzbek leader’s visit to Moscow will foster bilateral relations. "Uzbekistan is Russia’s strategic partner and ally in the Central Asian region," they stressed. "Russian-Uzbek ties are characterized by intense and trust-based political dialogue, are traditionally friendly and develop actively in various areas."

The Uzbek leader paid his milestone visit to Russia on April 4-5, 2017 that "brought relations of strategic partnership and allied ties between the two countries to a new level." "Moscow is sure that the visit of Abdulaziz Kamilov will help to deepen and develop Russian-Uzbek cooperation on a broad range of areas and will make a contribution to enhancing peace and stability in Central Asia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Last time Lavrov and Kamilov met on January 18, 2018 in New York.