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President Karimov attends CIS Summit in Minsk
As it was reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov took part October 9-10 in the Minsk summit meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Major events of the highest-level convention in the capital of Belarus, including the session of Council of the Heads of State, took place on October 10. The leaders of member nations discussed pressing issues pertaining to the evolution of cooperation within the Commonwealth.
Presidents exchanged views on security issues and those related to enhancing interaction in the humanitarian area.
According to Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov, the CIS is an institution that provides extensive opportunities to maintain direct dialogue and address urgent issues. It also serves as a platform for the elaboration of mutually suitable approaches and coordinated practical measures to facilitate sustainable development in the participating countries, to cash in the available trade-economic capacities, and counter the security threats.
The head of our state pinpointed on the need to establish a full-fledged free trade zone in the Commonwealth area and to put it into action as soon as possible. That would facilitate the creation of an environment ultimately conducive for the enlargement of mutual trade and investments.
It has become a good tradition to announce a year of humanitarian focus within the CIS and work out respective actions and measures. The summit participants agreed to announce the year 2016 as the one of education in the Commonwealth.
When discussing security issues, the leaders of member nations deliberated on draft documents related to interaction in combating illicit drug trade, illegal migration and human trafficking.
Heads of state analyzed the progress in the execution of the Major Actions Plan drawn for the implementation of the Concept for the Further Development of CIS. The summit participants agreed on corresponding decisions with regard to a range of organizational matters.
Presidency in the Commonwealth passed to the Republic of Kazakhstan.
As part of the visit to Minsk, President Islam Karimov held talks with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.
The two leaders exchanged views on bilateral relations and stressed the need to raise them to a new level.
The interaction between Uzbekistan and Belarus has been developing on the basis of friendship and cooperation principles. Postures of our two countries toward regional and international issues are similar or close. Regular consultations are established between the foreign affairs agencies of the two nations.
Belarus considers Uzbekistan one of the major economic partners in Central Asia. The commerce between our two countries has been expanding. The volume of bilateral trade turnover in 2013 amounted to 193.5 million US dollars.
Cotton fiber, textile and agricultural products and cars exported to Belarus from Uzbekistan have been growing in volumes. Belarus supplies Uzbekistan with heavy haulers and tractors. Dialogue has been underway to consolidate direct contacts between market exchanges, trade and industry chambers and major industrial enterprises of the two countries.
It was noted during the conversation that trade-economic and investment cooperation is attached a priority significance in mutual relations, and promotion of the activities of the Uzbek-Belarusian intergovernmental commission will facilitate the further extension of partnership in this sphere.
Uzbekistan and Belarus place a particular emphasis on the enhancement of cultural-humanitarian ties. In particular, representatives of culture and arts from the two nations are regular in major international forums held in Uzbekistan and Belarus. Uzbekistan's artists have been active in the international art festival "Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk", while the Belarusian musicians are keen participants of the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival.
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