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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > April
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 15, 2003

United States-Uzbekistan Joint Security Cooperation Consultations

The following is the text of a joint statement by the United States and Uzbekistan at the conclusion of the Joint Security Cooperation Consultations, which met in Washington, DC on April 14-15, 2003:

The United States-Uzbekistan Joint Security Cooperation Council [JSCC] met in Washington on April 14-15, 2003.

Both sides affirmed that that the cooperation between Uzbekistan and the United States is based on the interests of the peoples of the two countries and is intended to help ensure peace, freedom, and prosperity in Central Asia and throughout the world.

The sides thoroughly discussed the further development of the bilateral relationship, including economic and democratic reform and respect for human rights; cooperation in promoting security in Central Asia; and current international problems.

During the talks, the parties noted the significance of the Declaration Concerning the Strategic Partnership and the Foundations of Bilateral Cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United States of America signed in March 2002 during President Karimov's visit to Washington, which helped to expand cooperation serving the interests of the peoples of both countries. The sides reaffirmed their commitment to implementing this important document.

Both sides acknowledged that their bilateral relations over the past year have demonstrated their resolve to pursue long-term and broad cooperation in all spheres.

The United States, viewing Uzbekistan as a strategic partner in Central Asia and taking into account its role in establishing a reliable system of regional security, encouraged the Government of Uzbekistan to redouble its efforts to strengthen peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, including to increase trade and to fight terrorism, the narcotics trade, and trafficking in persons.

The United States appreciated the measures being taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to further implement political reforms and establish the institutions of a civil society, and it was noted that this work would be widened and deepened. To this end, both sides reaffirmed the goals of Article 1.2 of the Declaration on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Framework Between the United States of America and the Republic of Uzbekistan:
"The Uzbek side reaffirms its commitment and intention to further intensify the democratic transformation of society in the political, economic and spiritual areas, taking into account the obligations deriving from international treaties and the requirements of national legislation.

The United States side will endeavor to provide appropriate advice, aid, and assistance, consistent with U.S. law, to the Uzbek side and Uzbek society to implement democratic reforms in the following priority areas, where both sides expect progress:

  • strengthening the foundation for a state based on the rule of law, a market-based economy and an effective social safety net, and building a strong and open civil society;
  • further strengthening and developing democratic values in the society, ensuring respect for human rights and freedoms based on the universally recognized principles and norms of international law;
  • enhancing the role of democratic and political institutions in the life of society; establishing a genuine multi-party system...
  • further strengthening and developing non-governmental structures, including independent media...
  • further improving the judicial and legal system and adopting additional measures to ensure the independence of the courts as a fully empowered, independent branch of government...."

Both sides also reaffirmed Article 3.1 of the Declaration on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Framework Between the United States of America and the Republic of Uzbekistan in which Uzbekistan firmly resolves to implement macroeconomic, financial, and structural reforms with the goal of liberalizing the economy and financial system, increasing competitiveness, and developing the private sector.

The United States, taking into account the importance of trade and economic relations for the stable development of Uzbekistan, expressed its willingness to continue taking the steps necessary to intensify bilateral economic and investment cooperation in accordance with the Government of Uzbekistan's further implementation of economic reforms as expressed in the Framework Declaration.

Uzbekistan conveyed its gratitude for the multiple kinds of assistance the United States provides, and appreciates the U.S. readiness to maintain this assistance at levels to be mutually agreed in the future. Uzbekistan also appreciates that the United States continues to support a positive, constructive dialogue with the international financial institutions with the goal of implementing macro-economic reform.

The sides agreed to review and further implement for prioritized sectors of the Uzbek economy the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Governments of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United States of America on Further Development of Bilateral Cooperation and Support for Economic Reforms in Uzbekistan of November 30, 2001.

The United States reaffirmed its willingness to continue providing assistance to Uzbekistan for the purpose of implementing democratic and market reforms, as the Government of Uzbekistan continues to make progress in this area, because both sides wish to strengthen the U.S.-Uzbekistan strategic partnership. To this end, both sides agreed to review the assistance packages for the current and future periods.

Recognizing the continuing threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to regional and global security, both countries reaffirmed their readiness for further close cooperation to prevent proliferation of such weapons and weapons expertise and to eliminate weapons infrastructure.

The participants in the talks also expressed the desire to continue cooperation, both on a bilateral and a multilateral basis, in combating international terrorism and extremism of all sorts, illegal drug trafficking, and other manifestations of organized transnational crime.

The United States reaffirmed its willingness to expand its defense and military cooperation with Uzbekistan.

Both countries agreed to continue providing comprehensive support for the peace process in Afghanistan and for building a renewed nation living in peace and harmony with its neighbors and the international community. The United States, taking into account Uzbekistan’s experience, its abundant human and material resources, and the well-developed infrastructure on its borders, supports Uzbekistan's desire for more active involvement in international projects for the post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan.

The participants confirmed that their approaches to the issue of Iraq are in harmony. Uzbekistan supported the U.S. position on the disarmament of Iraq and the postwar reconstruction of that country for the greater stability, freedom, and prosperity of the entire region.

The Uzbekistani delegation renewed President Islam Karimov's invitation to U.S. President Bush to visit Uzbekistan at mutually convenient time.

Released on April 15, 2003

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