Iran, Uzbekistan to Bolster Ties in All Areas

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TEHRAN/TASHKENT- Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, in a meeting with Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, voiced Tehran’s readiness to broaden bilateral relations with Tashkent in all areas. In a Sunday meeting on the sidelines of 1st Caspian Economic Forum, underway in Turkmenbashy, Turkmenistan, Jahangiri and Aripov exchanged views on the ways to enhance Tehran-Tashkent cooperation in all fields of mutual interest.

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Jahangiri said that both countries should try to remove barriers to trade ties so that a comprehensive document of cooperation can be signed in the near future. Pointing to potentials of cultural cooperation, he noted that the Islamic Republic enjoys great experiences in repairing and restoring historical sites and that it is ready to share this knowledge.

Jahangiri further highlighted the need to stop other countries from intervening in Iran-Uzbekistan ties, noting, “Iran and Uzbekistan are two key players in the region which share common interests and threats. Cooperation between the two countries in security areas can help regional stability.” For his part, Abdulla Aripov said that the two countries should continue bilateral and multilateral cooperation to uproot extremism in the region.

Uzbekistan welcomes Iranian companies’ investment, he said, adding that level of bilateral cooperation and trade ties has improved in recent months, compared to the previous year, but there is still need to tap into full potentials of cooperation. Jahangiri left Tehran for Turkmenistan on Sunday afternoon to attend the first 1st Caspian Economic Forum. The event kicked off Sunday in Turkmenbashy city, with littoral states’ government representatives, business persons, academics and some international bodies in attendance.

Issues related to the development of economic cooperation within the Caspian region will be considered in the framework of the Forum. Agenda includes the creation of conditions for large-scale projects, discussions on the role of the economy of the Caspian region on the global level, investment attractiveness in oil and gas, energy, transport, trade, agro-industrial, tourism and other sectors of the economy of the Caspian states that possess mutual interest.

Early in May, Chairman of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations Seyed Kamal Kharrazi, in a meeting with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, discussed the threats posed to Central Asia after ISIL’s transfer from Syria to Afghanistan. Kharrazi and Kamilov, in their meeting on May 02 in Uzbekistan’s capital city of Tashkent, exchanged views on the security provisions to counter the threats posed by terrorism.

Iran and Uzbekistan should recognize their common cultural identity and build their modern civilization based on it, the former Iranian foreign minister said. Iran attaches great importance to its relationship with its neighbors, he said, adding, “Iran strives to broaden its relationship with neighboring countries in line with spreading stability and security in the region.”

The relationship between the two countries is on the growth and development track, Kharrazi added. Iran and Uzbekistan enjoy a rich cultural and civilization heritage, he said, adding, “When different Uzbek cities such as Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khwarazm are listed, we observe that each of these cities was home to distinguished and outstanding scientists.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Kharrazi touched upon the way of construction of road and rail infrastructures between the two countries and proposed, “setting up an airline, which can connect capitals of the two countries directly, is essential.” For his part, Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov pointed to the amicable ties between Iran and Uzbekistan and said that a brief look to the history of the two countries shows that Iran and Uzbekistan are on the considerable development and growth track.

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