“Investment portal of Uzbekistan”

Citizens of 76 countries will be able to get an electronic visa to Uzbekistan (List)

Uzbekistan announces visa waiver for citizens of 45 countries (List)

Important Visa Information for Indian Citizens Travelling to Uzbekistan

September 15, 2014


September 15, 2014


President Karimov’s speech at the SCO Summit2

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov took part in the regular summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization on September 11-12 in Dushanbe. 3

economy.. 4

For the 6 months in Uzbekistan built and commissioned 43.5 thousand houses. 4

Tourism… 5

Stars Overlook Samarkand, or Walking about an Ancient City. 5






President Karimov’s speech at the SCO Summit

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has taken part in the session of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of the Heads of State. Following is the text of Uzbek President’s speech at the extended meeting in that summit.

Distinguished Heads of State!

Esteemed participants of this session!

First and foremost, allow me to extend my sincere respect to the leaders of SCO member nations, heads of delegations of observer states and the guests invited to this summit meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratefulness to President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for the warm hospitality and the good organization of our current meeting.

I join the evaluations of SCO activities for the past period, offered here by the heads of state. We have every reason today to assert that Shanghai Cooperation Organization has within a relatively short span of time turned into an influential international institution that plays a noticeable role in world politics. Owing to the joint efforts of member states as well as observer nations, we have continued to work together to maintain peace and security in the region, combat terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking and other challenges and threats emerging today in the light of the mounting confrontation and tension in various corners of the world.

I would like to make special mention of the tremendous work undertaken at the level of the Council of National Coordinators, the Session of Security Council Secretaries and experts of the SCO.

Dear Heads of State!

Making use of this opportunity, I would like to dwell very briefly on following issues.

The situation unfolding today in Afghanistan is characterized with permanent instability and has a tendency toward deterioration. One can say with confidence that all the sides interested in addressing the Afghan crisis share one conviction, that is, it is impossible to achieve peace in Afghanistan by military means.

For the war years in the country, a whole generation of Afghans has grown up, who lack any idea as to what a peaceful life is. As the June presidential elections in Afghanistan have demonstrated, the Afghan people have got exhausted of the endless bloodshed and violence, the long-standing misery and destruction, and today they long for peace and stability, strive to have a right to determine their future by their own.

At the same time, procrastination of the process of vote recount and of promulgation of presidential election results in Afghanistan and hence the delay in the inauguration of the new head of state causes great alarm with regard to Afghanistan’s stable future.

Developments as such can shake the internal situation in the country once and for all; trigger a real threat to national security and the prospects of peaceful resolution of the confrontation in Afghanistan; impede the achievement of consensus in negotiations and the formation of a coalition government, which would be represented by all the conflicting parties and the ethnic-religious groups of Afghanistan.

We should be aware of the fact that the withdrawal of international security assistance forces from Afghanistan can lead to mounting threats and growing instability, expanding terrorist and extremist activities as well as increasing scales of drug trafficking not merely in the wider Central Asian region, but also far beyond its rims.

Amid the developments we are witnessing, any vacuum emergent in Afghanistan can within a short period of time be filled by various destructive and terrorist groups.

In this unpredictable environment one cannot rule out attempts by certain political forces and states supporting them to sow chaos and depreciate the situation in Afghanistan to an even greater extent. In a nutshell, the developments taking place in Iraq can repeat themselves [in Afghanistan].

Uzbekistan builds and will continue to build steady and friendly relations with Afghanistan deriving from the national interests of both countries and exclusively on the bilateral basis, by providing support to a government that the Afghans will elect on their own.

Examining the state of affairs unfolding in world economy, we have every reason to believe that the grave consequences of the international financial-economic crisis have been far from being overcome to a full extent.

Without any doubt, trends as such are reflected directly or indirectly on the situation and development dynamics in all the SCO participating nations.

Amid these circumstances, the challenge of further enhancement of cooperation in the implementation of wide-scale projects in the economy, investments and transport communications that would cater to the interests of the region’s countries has been acquiring a special urgency in order to secure sustainable socio-economic development in the organization’s member nations and to make tangible, practical achievements.

We assign a decisive role in addressing these tasks to the initiative put forward by the People’s Republic of China and its President Xi Jinping to create “an economic belt of the Silk Road”, designed to assist the promotion of long-term economic interests of all the nations of the region, especially in the part concerning the development of a trans-regional transport infrastructure, the substantial upsurge in the geopolitical and economic potential of not only its participants, but also of the entire Central Asia.

Very briefly I would like to convey our views and reflections on the resolution of crisis in Ukraine.

First. We welcome the agreements reached in Minsk on a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian quagmire, and we support proposals and initiatives of Ukraine and Russia on this issue.

Second. I am convinced that the proposals of Uzbekistan expressed initially as early as 4 March 2014 that the ultimate and most effective resolution of the emergent problem is the organization of a direct negotiations process between Ukraine and Russia directed at ceasing the confrontation in Ukraine and achieving peace in the country, remain imperative and find their confirmation event today.

Third. In any negotiations processes on the Ukrainian crisis, the ages-old interests of Russia that have evolved historically throughout many centuries should also be taken into account.

Ignoring these interests would be a serious oversight.

Taking this opportunity, allow me to congratulate the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on the presidency in the SCO for the next period and wish every success in the realization of this responsible mission.

Thank you for your attention.

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov took part in the regular summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization on September 11-12 in Dushanbe

As it was reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov took part in the regular summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization on September 11-12 in Dushanbe.

In Tajikistan’s capital city, the head of our state held a range of important bilateral talks on September 11 with the leaders of Iran, Tajikistan and Russia.

Thus, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan met with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani who had arrived in Dushanbe to attend the summit as the head of an observer nation in the SCO. The two sides discussed the current state of bilateral relations across a variety of spheres and exchanged views on their further development.

The two Presidents stressed the necessity of steadfast advancement of cooperation between our two nations, of consolidation of mutually advantageous ties in the trade and economic realm.

On the same day, the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. The heads of two states swapped views on diverse issues on the bilateral and regional agenda.

Later the day, President Islam Karimov held talks with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Relations between Uzbekistan and Russia are currently characterized as mutually beneficial. The two sides have been consistently expanding the trade and economic partnership.

Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin underscored the importance of regular exchange of views between the two countries.

The SCO summit meeting took place on 12 September.

A contracted session of SCO member nations was attended by Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan and Almazbek Atambaev of Kyrgyzstan.

The discussion of issues on the summit agenda continued later at an extended session when the heads of member states were joined by officials of observer nations, of a number of international and regional organizations, as well as honorable guests.

In his speech, President Islam Karimov expounded on the developments in Afghanistan, the current trends in the world economy and shared his views regarding the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine.

The SCO summit served as a platform to deliberate on the prospects of further improvement in the activities of the organization, the consolidation of trade and economic interaction, provision for regional security and stability, as well as other issues of common interest.

Following the sessions of the summit, participants signed the Dushanbe Declaration of the Heads of Member States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Also penned were decisions with regard to obligations of an applicant nation for the membership of the organization, an agreement among the governments of SCO participating countries on the creation of favorable conditions for international motor shipping, and other documents.

In line with the SCO Charter, presidency in the organization for the next period has passed to the Russian Federation.

(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)


For the 6 months in Uzbekistan built and commissioned 43.5 thousand houses

In January-June 2014, construction works carried out in Uzbekistan amounted 9394.2 billion soums, which made up 117.4% to January-June 2013. (Currency rates of CB from 25.07.2014   1$= 2328.16 soums)

80.7% from the total construction works goes to a new construction, reconstruction, expansion and technical re-equipment of enterprises, 17.6% for capital and current repairs and 1.7% on other contract work.

Within 6 months of the current year, the total volume of investments of non-productive sphere in housing construction 3808.9 billion soums or 64.2% of their volume have been realized.

In January-June 2014 built and commissioned 43.5 thousand houses, or 44.3 thousand apartments with a total area 5755.7 sq. m (113.9% to the level of January-June 2013), including in rural areas 4350.7 sq. m (115.9%).

On the construction and reconstruction of higher education institutions, lyceums and professional colleges allocated 120.0 billion soums of investments, secondary and special schools 131.7 billion soums of investments, which amounted to, respectively, 23.6 percent and 25.9 percent of investment in the education industry.

During the construction of water supply networks realized 238.0 billion soums of investments, including 111.1 billion soums at the expense of means of the Republican budget (46.7 percent of the total amount), 112.9 billion soums at the expense of foreign investments and credits (47.4%), 9.7 billion soums – at the expense of the population (4.1%), 4.3 billion soums – at the expense of enterprises funds and other sources of funding (1.8 percent).

For the construction of gas networks provided 9.0 billion soums, including 6.4 billion soums at the expense of the population (71.1%) and 2.6 billion soums – enterprises (28.9%).



Stars Overlook Samarkand, or Walking about an Ancient City

Arriving in a new city, each of us expects to find something that will resonate with our soul and respond to our concepts and preferences. We wait for new encounters, new deep emotions, and impressions that will warm and please our souls for a long time ahead. To achieve this, it is necessary to feel the atmosphere and colour of the place.

To understand an Asian city, it is not enough to merely see its most significant and famous places. One should walk along its lanes, talk to local people, bargain at a market, discuss the latest news in the chaykhona (tea house), be a guest at a spectacular Uzbek wedding party and, if one is lucky enough, participate in the celebration of Navruz, an ancient Eastern holiday.

With its 2,750-year history, Samarkand is one of the most ancient cities of the world. It would then be chronologically right to begin our tour of Samarkand from the archaeological sit of Afrasiab, where the city originated. However, for a traveller, it would be better to start from the Gur-Emir mausoleum, which contains the remains of Tamerlane, the great commander and political figure who is well-known far beyond Uzbekistan.

Amir Timur (Tamerlane), not only created a powerful state that occupied an enormous territory, but he also defended Europe from incursions of Mongols and the conquest of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid. European rulers highly esteemed his talent.

Amir Timur’s correspondence with Charles VI of France and his mention in the diaries of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, Spain’s ambassador to Amir Timur’s empire, have remained to this day. For several centuries, Amir Timur’s personality stirred people’s interest and imagination, inspiring them to create works of art and leaving his name constantly on their minds.

Samarkand treats Tamerlane in a special way, as it was he who restored the city to life after Genghis-Khan’s invasion, and made it the capital of a gigantic empire. Tamerlane and his descendants presented Samarkand with outstanding architectural masterpieces and the world-famous blue domes. The Gur-Emir is particularly astonishing at dawn. The sunbeams that penetrate into the mausoleum through a panjara (decorative lattice), the complex patterns on the walls, the nephrite gravestone of Tamerlane and the prayer read by a venerable old man – all of this can evoke deep admiration. One can even imagine being a participant in a sacred ceremony, transferred to an unknown world from a time long ago.

In the old part of Samarkand, time changes easily and naturally, as if by magic. The old city lives its usual life full of wonderful ancient traditions. It is not a stylised Oriental way of life, organised specially for tourists, but a routine private existence of the city. Everything is real there.

A broad street leads from the Gur-Emir to Registan Square, Samarkand’s most recognisable image. Once situated in the centre of a densely populated quarter of craftsmen, Registan formed a bazaar, to which merchants from remote countries arrived along the Great Silk Road to buy precious silk, crimson velvet, aromatic spices and jewellery.

The best way to reach the Registan from the Gur-Emir is by going through an old city mahalla (traditional neighbourhood). This route will acquaint you with the traditional Asian town’s building plan. As in old times, most of the houses in the Old City are built of pakhsa (adobe material formed into large blocks), which keeps the houses cool inside during the hot days of chilla (the forty hottest days in summer). The houses traditionally include an inner courtyard with a garden of fruit trees, grapevines and rose bushes. The fragrance makes the evening meals more delicious as the family gathers around a dastarkhan (tablecloth spread on a short-legged table or placed on the floor).

After talking with the hospitable people of the mahalla, you will finally reach the Registan, the very heart of Samarkand. To visit this place is a dream for many who have at least seen an image of this unique construction in history books or art encyclopaedias. For many centuries, the Registan was both a trading place and a centre of culture and science. In the 15th century, Mirzo Ulugbek, a famous astronomer and Amir Timur’s grandson, built a madrasah in the square where mostly secular sciences were taught, with a special emphasis on astronomy. Ulugbek himself gave lessons at the madrasah together with the prominent scientists whom he attracted to teach at this higher school.

In the 17th century, when the region was ruled by the Ashtarkhanid dynasty, two more madrasahs, the Sher-Dor and the Tilla-Kari, where built in the square. Both constructions were created by Mirzo Ulugbek and have common features. This was done not only for the sake of symmetry, which was esteemed in the East, but because the Timurid monumental architecture was always an object of admiration and imitation.

Today’s Registan is both a museum and a unique concert area, where once every two years the international musical festival Shark Taronlari is organised, attracting visitors from many countries from around the world. As in old times, visitors at the Registan can purchase a wide range of authentic goods, from expensive silks and beautiful ceramic articles to miniatures on Samarkand paper.

Following the Registan is the Bibi-Khanum, Amir Timur’s cathedral mosque and one of the places that residents and guests like to visit so much. The city’s main square and the mosque are connected by a street once called Zargarlik (jewellers’ street), which in old times consisted of innumerable jewellers’ shops trading in fine precious metal articles decorated with turquoise, carnelian or coral. Today, apart from the countless souvenir shops, the street is also the location of the artisan centre Khunarmand, where tourists can see the process of making miniatures, traditional jewellery or fretted decorative boxes.

The second floor of the centre is occupied by the Happy Bird art gallery whose hospitable owners will always offer a cup of hot tea or aromatic coffee to a tired traveller. There you can purchase not just unique souvenirs and clothes, but you can also learn much about fabrics, ceramics and applied arts. From the balcony of the gallery you can enjoy a magnificent view of the turquoise dome of the Bibi-Khanum cathedral mosque.

Amir Temur built the mosque after his successful campaign to India. In the 15th century, Bibi-Khanum was the largest mosque in the world. It is difficult to imagine what travellers may have felt as they visited Samarkand at that time. After several months in the hot desert, they suddenly found themselves in a city laced with verdure and dominated by the majestically beautiful mosque. It seemed the mosque was completely covered with turquoise, lapis lazuli and precious stones. This effect was achieved through ornamental tiles adorning the walls and domes of the mosque and shining brightly in the sun. Perhaps in the first few minutes travellers may have thought it was a mirage!

Next to the Bibi-Khanum mosque is the Siab bazaar, the oldest bazaar in Samarkand. This is where the people of Samarkand come to buy kuraga (dried apricots), raisins, almonds, aromatic spices, juicy fruits, vegetables and hot bread. Traditional Samarkand bread is considered the best among the dozens of varieties of Uzbek bread. You must taste it!

Even if a person spends the whole day at the bazaar, they will hardly be able to take in the whole range of colours, smells, tastes and possibilities to communicate with the most benevolent and hospitable people in the world.

Various types of chaykhonas and oshkhonas (café) are scattered throughout the territory of the bazaar and in its neighbouring area, where you can partake of traditional Uzbek cuisine and continue to communicate with the residents of Samarkand.

After a short rest to regain some strength, we can continue on our tour and head for Afrasiab, the cradle of Samarkand. On our way we will see the necropolis Shakhi-Zinda, the only pre-Mongolian street in present-day Samarkand. Although Shakhi-Zinda’s mausoleums belong to the 14th and 15th centuries, they are situated in a place where there was a very lively city street much earlier. It is significant that the necropolis is not only a unique architectural monument – a museum in the open sky – but also a place of pilgrimage as it contains the grave of Kusam ibn Abbas, cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. This is why every year, the Shakhi-Zinda is visited by a large number of pilgrims.

Most of the mausoleums belong to the noblemen of the Timurid period. Each mausoleum is a real piece of art. All types of Central Asian architectural décor are probably represented at the Shakhi-Zinda.

The Shakhi-Zinda is also a place where you clearly realize that Samarkand has always been an intersection of various cultures and traditions: the Persian, Caucasian, local and many other architectural schools merge to form a single whole, like many-coloured silk threads in a wonderful Oriental carpet.

Not far from the Shakhi-Zinda there is another remarkable place, the mosque of Khazrat-Khizr. A magnificent view of the Khazrat-Khizr opens up as you walk down from the Bibi-Khanum to the thoroughfare. The mosque was built in the 19th century, but its lower cultural layer belongs to the 11th century. It was devoted to Saint Khizr, who brings good luck if encountered. As Khazrat-Khizr is considered to patronize travellers, most pilgrims and travellers think it highly important to visit Khazrat-Khizr at least once in their life.


Going up a street from the Khazrat-Khizr, you will finally reach the Afrasiab museum, where you will acquaint yourself with the pre-Mongolian history of Samarkand and learn about the ancient Sogdian civilization, legendary Maracanda and the Muslim Renaissance. The most famous exhibition of the museum is the mural painting from the palace of Samarkand’s ruler, which strikes one’s imagination with its artistic perfection. It would be interesting to walk about the archaeological site to appreciate the size of ancient Samarkand – at one time it covered an area of 219 hectares, a real megalopolis for its day.

At sunset, Afrasiab looks even more charming. You can see Sogdian merchants, Alexander the Great, beautiful Roxana, Zoroastrian temples, palaces and innumerable bazaars all flowing past your vision.

After the museum, we can visit Prophet Daniel’s tomb, which is also situated in the territory of Afrasiab. Uniting the three main religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, the mazar (grave of a holy person) symbolizes cosmopolitism, a feature characteristic of Samarkand.

You may become tired of the sheer amount of new images, impressions and the bright sun and may be looking for a rest, but there is one more place that can be skipped – Ulugbek’s observatory. Unfortunately, a segment of the sextant is the only part of the observatory that survived, but it still makes an indelible impression.

In the 15th century, Ulugbek used this instrument to determine the coordinates of 1,018 stars, which is no accident as Samarkand is overlooked by such wonderful stars that it sometimes seems as if you can reach out a hand to touch them. This is why astronomy has always occupied such an important place among the sciences in this region.

Opposite the sextant is a small museum in which you can once again see the evidence of Amir Timur victories and learn about his and his grandson Ulugbek’s educational activity, as well as about other representatives of this prominent dynasty.

In the evening, after the long trip. remember to look at the sky, at the stars, as Samarkand is the only place where you can see them so close. Perhaps the stars are also admiring the great city. And if you happen to see a careless falling star, make a wish. It will certainly come true.

(Source: «Uzbekistan airways» magazine)

Reference to the source is a must in reproducing materials