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UZBEKISTAN – SOUTH KOREA: NEW LONG-TERM PROSPECTS OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Dilfuza Turaeva Chief research fellow, the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Annotation The article reveals new long-term prospects for development of economic and strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and South Korea. The author analyzes the results of the state visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Korea that took place on November 22-25, 2017 in the context of Uzbekistan President’s active regional and international politics. The first state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Korea on November 22-25, 2017 became an important event in the history of bilateral relations, marking new areas of multifaceted interaction and expanding the strategic partnership between the two countries 1 . According to the foreign analysts, the visit and negotiations between the two leaders contribute to a significant expansion of practical cooperation between South Korea and Uzbekistan, which is a key and friendly partner of the Republic of Korea in the Central Asian region. Korean editions emphasize that “President Sh. Mirziyoyev became the second foreign leader to visit South Korea after the election of Moon Jae-in as the president of the country. The first to visit Seoul was the US President Donald Trump”. 2 Moreover, as noted by the experts of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, the heads of state have established personal ties characterized by mutual respect and trust. This will give sustainability to the further deepening of the strategic partnership between the two countries 3 . Indeed, today, Uzbekistan and South Korea have accumulated considerable experience in political interaction, which has served as a solid basis for giving the multi-faceted Uzbek-Korean cooperation a long-term, strategic nature. This level of partnership is reflected in the mutual support of the parties in the framework of international organizations, proximity or similarity of the positions of Uzbekistan and South Korea on topical issues of regional and international security. In particular, as the initiator and party to the Treaty on the Establishment of a Nuclear- Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, Tashkent firmly and consistently supports the non-nuclear status of the Korean Peninsula promoted by Seoul. Therefore, in Tashkent, as well as throughout the world, they welcomed the historic meeting of the leaders of South and North Korea held in April 2018. In the message to President Moon Jae-in on the occasion of the successful inter-Korean summit, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the outcome of the past meeting of the leaders of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea represented breakthroughs on the path to the stability, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula 4 . «Uzbekistan president to make state visit to Korea», «WorldAffairs Journal.org», November 17, 2017, http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/content/uzbek-president-make-state-visit-south-korea. 2 «Uzbekistan president arrives for state visit», South Korea online edition «The Korea Times», November 22, 2017, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/11/120_239699.html 3 «South Korea begins to master Central Asia», Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, November 24, 2017, https://riss.ru/smi/45674/ 4 Message from the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in on the occasion of the successful holding of the inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom, May 28 2018, http://www.press- service.uz/ru/lists/view/1676. 74 1