Āboltiņa: Uzbekistan is Latvia’s most significant partner in Central Asia

(17.10.2013.)
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“Uzbekistan is the most significant cooperation partner for Latvia in Central Asia, and our active political dialogue, as well as regular exchange of visits, attest to that,” said Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, on Thursday, 17 October, during her meeting with Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

During the past 20 years, bilateral relations between our countries have developed to a substantial degree, noted the Speaker while emphasising that Latvia highly appreciates the fact that Uzbekistan is among the leading players and that it has proved itself as a responsible international ally and a security guarantor in Central Asia.

Speaker Āboltiņa described interparliamentary relations between Latvia and Uzbekistan as active and pointed out that close parliamentary ties also encourage economic cooperation – last year Andrejs Klemetjevs, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, together with a business delegation, visited Uzbekistan. Solvita Āboltiņa also assured the President that the Saeima, as the parliament of a European Union member state, is ready to share its experience in implementing reforms and strengthening democracy.

With regard to economic cooperation, the Speaker expressed gratification at the increase in bilateral trade turnover and investments. The officials also discussed the areas with untapped cooperation potential, including tourism.

Both parties affirmed their commitment to improve cooperation in education. “We are glad that such a large number of Uzbek students are studying at higher educational institutions in Latvia – Uzbekistan ranks fifth in the number of foreign students studying in our country,” stressed Speaker Āboltiņa. She noted that Latvia offers Uzbek students an opportunity to acquire a European-level education in areas such as medicine, transport and finance.

During the meeting, the Speaker of the Saeima informed the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan that in the upcoming years Latvia will be the venue of several significant events. Speaker Āboltiņa invited the Uzbek people to visit Latvia in 2014, when Riga will be the European Capital of Culture. Furthermore, in 2015, for the first time Latvia will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Speaker said that one of Latvia’s foreign policy priorities during its presidency will be enhancement of relations with Central Asian countries, and she expressed hope that Uzbekistan, being the most stable country in the region, will play a significant role in this process.



Photos from the meeting are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157636653930503/
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Saeima Press Service

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