President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to Samarkand on November 17.

On November 18, Interim President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoev and President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the resting place of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the complex “Khazrati khizr” and paid tribute to the memory of Islam Karimov.

Later that day, the sides held talks in the Palace“ Forumlar majmuasi” in Samarkand.

Shavkat Mirziyoev thanked the Turkish President for the sincere condolences in connection with the passing of the First President of Uzbekistan. The visit of Erdogan in Samarkand and honoring the memory of Islam Karimov is an evidence of high respect of the people of Uzbekistan.

It is worth to note that Turkey was among the first to recognize the independence of Uzbekistan.

Uzbek and Turkish nations are inextricably linked by centuries of common history, common language and religion, shared values and similar customs and traditions.

Shavkat Mirziyoev noted that Uzbekistan considers Turkey as an important and long-term partner, is the supporter of strengthening the bonds of friendship between our peoples, development of cooperation based on mutual trust.

Recep Erdogan emphasized that Turkey considers Uzbekistan as its priority partner in Central Asia and noted the consistent maintaining of socio-political stability and continued economic progress in our country.

It was noted that the current level of cooperation between our countries does not correspond to existing opportunities and potential of Uzbekistan and Turkey, and this meeting is an opportunity for thorough exchange of opinions on prospects of development of our cooperation.

During the talks the sides discussed the issue of further strengthening of mutual trust between Uzbekistan and Turkey, they held an exchange of views on the organization of regular consultations between the foreign ministries, support in the framework of international organizations.

In the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Uzbekistan initiated the establishment of the International Research Center of Imam Bukhari in Samarkand. The sides expressed satisfaction with the support of this initiative by Research Centre for Islamic history, art and culture of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, whose headquarters is in Turkey.

The meeting also discussed issues of trade-economic cooperation.

Turkey is one of the traditional and important trade partners of Uzbekistan. In 2015, the volume of mutual trade turnover amounted to $1.2 billion. It is expected that growth figures will go up in the current year. However, as was noted, these figures do not reflect the existing potential of our countries, noting that there are ample opportunities to increase the volume of trade by 2-3 times in the coming years.

As of today, some 500 Turkish companies operate in Uzbekistan. The volume of Turkish investments attracted into the economy of our country currently exceed $1 billion.

During the meeting, confidence was expressed that this visit will give a new impetus to the mutually beneficial contacts among business circles of bоth countries.

The sides discussed the issues of building new complexes on the cultivation and deep processing of agricultural products, storage, packaging and export of food products, creation of joint ventures in the textile and leather-processing industry, in particular, the establishment of promotion of brand finished products on foreign markets, through joint deep processing of cotton fiber and leather raw materials, development and implementation of new projects in the field of pharmaceuticals.

The sides discussed issues of further development of tourist infrastructure in Uzbekistan by involving leading tour operators of Turkey to the construction of modern tourist complexes in Samarkand, Bukhara, Khorezm and Tashkent regions that comply with international standards.

Another stressed issue was transport communications. The launch of the railway Baku-Akhalkalaki-Kars will be an important factor in solving such strategic issue, as creating a direct transport corridor linking bоth countries, development of the trade-economic partnership.

An agreement was reached on holding the next meeting of the joint intergovernmental commission early next year in Tashkent. It was decided to conduct the Uzbek-Turkish Investment Forum within its framework.

The sides also discussed the cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian sphere.

Shavkat Mirziyoev and Recep Erdogan expressed confidence that the agreements reached in the course of the meeting would raise bilateral relations to a qualitatively new level, will serve to open the new page of mutually beneficial cooperation.

In the afternoon, the distinguished guest visited the memorial complex of Imam Bukhari, Imam Moturidi and Amir Temur mausoleum and visited the Registan square.

Recep Erdogan noted that these shrines have been radically reconstructed and gained a completely new look over the years of independence under the leadership of the First President Islam Karimov. The head of Turkey stressed that Uzbekistan achieves good results in the revival, study and popularization of the rich spiritual heritage of our ancestors in the world.

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