Мой первый журнал ISRS-Journal-АНГЛ - Page 66

RISING THE U.S.-UZBEKISTAN RELATIONSHIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL: MIRZIYOYEV'S HISTORIC VISIT Sanjar Valiev, Deputy Head of the Center, the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Annotation The official visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to the United States of America in May 2018 has been characterized as historic. Indeed, the Uzbek leader’s meetings at the White House, Congress, with key departments, major corporations and international financial institutions indicate that this visit brought significant results. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visit to Washington was historic, being the first official visit of an Uzbek president since 2002. Mirziyoyev’s reception, and the breadth and width of agreements signed, constitute an acknowledgement of the reform process in Uzbekistan, as well as of the country’s newfound regional role and in particular its constructive approach to resolving the problem of Afghanistan. Washington’s engagement in these efforts will further improve the prospects of success in Uzbekistan’s domestic reforms and regional initiatives. President Mirziyoyev received a warm welcome in Washington, being accompanied with the highest level of Diplomatic protocol and being accorded significant time by U.S. President Donald Trump. Following the negotiations conducted in Washington DC, the two Presidents issued a Joint Declaration, “The United States and Uzbekistan: Launching a New Era of Strategic Partnership.” A package of documents was signed during the visit, including protocols to enlarge bilateral trade relations and cooperation in higher education and academic research, agricultural industry and energy. A memorandum of understanding was signed to establish cooperation in Uzbekistan’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to organize a Central Asian Trade Forum in 2018 in Tashkent. Another Memorandum was signed between Uzbekistan’s National Bank of Foreign Economic Activity and the U.S. Export-Import Bank to finance cooperative projects. Corporations of the two countries signed more than 20 large contracts estimated to be worth $4.8 billion. In the sphere of security, the U.S. and Uzbekistan agreed on a five-year plan in defense and military affairs targeted at consolidation of peace and stabilization in the region. At the World Bank headquarters, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim praised Uzbekistan’s reform process, and loan of agreements for $940 million was signed, with the purpose of financing project in energy efficiency, horticulture, and emergency medical services. The total World Bank engagement up to 2020 includes 27 significant projects, with a total worth exceeding $4 billion. In addition, an agreement on consulting services was signed with International Financial Corporation (IFC), focused on improving public-private partnerships to attract private investors to Uzbekistan. IMPLICATIONS: The visit’s significance stems only in part from the impressive array of agreements concluded. On a deeper level, it constitutes the U.S. acknowledgment of immense progress being done in Uzbekistan in the past two years; consolidates Uzbekistan’s reputation as a country with a consistent and constructive foreign policy; and shows the value of Uzbekistan’s approach to regional affairs, particularly Afghanistan. Since coming to power, the new Uzbek president has launched wide-scale reforms in almost all spheres of life, focused on improving governance, raising the international status of 68