Foreign relations of Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991. However, it is opposed to reintegration and withdrew from the CIS collective security arrangement in 1999. Since that time, Uzbekistan has participated in the CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan and in United Nations-organized groups to help resolve the Tajik and Afghan conflicts, both of which it sees as posing threats to its own stability. Uzbekistan is an active supporter of U.S. efforts against worldwide terrorism and joined the coalitions which have dealt with both Afghanistan and Iraq (although, in 2005, relations with the U.S. were strained after the May 2005 unrest and Uzbekistan demanded that the U.S. leave Karshi-Khanabad). It is a member of the United Nations, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Partnership for Peace, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It belongs to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organization, which comprises 7 Central Asian countries: Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It is a founding member of and remains involved in the Central Asian Union, formed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, joined in March 1998 by Tajikstan.

In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the GUAM alliance (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova), which was formed in 1997 (temporarily making it GUUAM until Uzbekistan withdrew in 2005). Uzbekistan is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and hosts the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent. Uzbekistan also joined the new Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO) in 2002. The CACO consists of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is a founding member of and remains involved in the Central Asian Union, formed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, joined in March 1998 by Tajikstan.

Visit to Uzbekistan[edit]

Antti Turunen, the head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry's Eastern European and Central Asian department, led a European Union fact-finding mission to Tashkent, Uzbekistan on August 29, 2006. The Uzbek deputy foreign minister indicated that the Uzbek government was interested in talks with the EU during a visit to Helsinki, Finland in June 2006, just before Finland assumed the EU presidency. Radio Free Europe journalists spoke to Turunen on September 1. Turunen said the visit was inconclusive, but promising enough for the EU to "analyze" to see if the sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan could be lifted. Turunen's visit to Uzbekistan was the first EU visit since October, when sanctions were imposed after the Uzbek government refused to allow an international investigation into the Andijan massacre.[1]

The diplomatic sanctions consisted of a ban on political contacts, aid cuts, and visa bans on officials held responsible for the events in Andijan and their cover-up. Turunen said, "There are many, many open cases on human rights, and we have to now carefully look into what has really been done and what recommendations of [the] international community have been implemented. They indicated [then] that there would be possibilities to again resume ministerial level dialogue, that they might be willing to again discuss all aspects of EU-Uzbek relations, including the events in Andijan. That will be part of the assessment of the sanctions regime and on the basis of that assessment a decision on the fate of the sanctions will be made by mid-November."[1]

Turunen said that the visit went "smoothly" and that Uzbek Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov offered a "warm reception." The EU delegation met with officials from the Justice Ministry, the Attorney General's office, and Uzbek parliament members in a "rather good" atmosphere. He stressed that "the real issue" for the EU is the Uzbek government's response to the Andijan massacre and human rights abuses. "Well, it seems that at the moment the issue with the international inquiry is not on the agenda as such. They are to a certain extent open to discuss on expert level the events that took place in Andijan and we have to now see what this amounts to, what concrete steps towards that direction could be taken. The other issue is they are now willing to engage on human rights, to establish some kind of human rights dialogue or regular meetings on human rights issues which, in itself, is a positive signal."[1]

Although he was unsure what prompted the invitation to EU officials, he said Uzbekistan is trying to overcome its isolation. He said Russia-Uzbek relations and possible EU development of Uzbek energy reserves were not "directly" discussed but that "one might assume in the longer run they look forward to EU investment in this area." If the sanctions are lifted, a "Cooperation Council" meeting with Foreign Minister Norov will take place in Brussels later this autumn.[1]

Legal agreements with the Gulf states[edit]

On 31 March 2009, Uzbekistan and the Sultanate of Oman agreed upon a legal framework that protects Omani investments in central Asia and guarantees trade from both nations is free from double taxation. The Sultanate's government has been pursuing economic diversification and privatisation policies for nearly a decade, having signed similar agreement with thirty of its other trading partners.[2]

Relations by country[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Belarus 1992
 Bulgaria 1992-09-12 See Bulgaria–Uzbekistan relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Tashkent.[4]
  • Uzbekistan is represented in Bulgaria through a non resident ambassador based in Tashkent (in the Foreign Ministry.)[5]
 Denmark
 India
  • India has an embassy in Tashkent.
  • Uzbekistan has an embassy in New Delhi.
 Iran 1991
  • The two countries have deep cultural and historical ties, and Uzbekistan is considered as a part of Greater Iran. Iran has been especially active in pursuing economic projects and social, cultural, and diplomatic initiatives in Uzbekistan. The two nations have also worked on overland links and other joint ventures. The countries' conflciting political set-ups (Iran's Islamic theocracy versus Uzbekistan's secular dictatorship) does not appear to have deterred efforts to improve relations.[8]
 Kyrgyzstan See Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan relations
  • Uzbekistan dominates southern Kyrgyzstan both economically and politically, based on the large Uzbek population in that region of Kyrgyzstan and on economic and geographic conditions.[9]
 Malaysia 1992[10] See Malaysia–Uzbekistan relations
 Pakistan
  • Relations between the two states were established when the republic of Uzbekistan became independent following the collapse of the USSR, the relations between the two countries were initially strained by the situation in Afghanistan which both countries border as they supported different factions Afghan factions.[11]
  • However relations improved after the fall of the Taliban, both countries seeking to improve relations for the sake of trade, Pakistan wishing to gain access to Central Asian markets and landlocked Uzbekistan to access ports on the Indian Ocean.[11]
 Romania 1995-10-06 See Romania–Uzbekistan relations
  • Romania recognized Uzbekistan’s independence on December 20, 1991.
  • Romania has an embassy in Tashkent, although Uzbekistan does not have any representation in Romania.
  • Romania sees Uzbekistan as a potentially important partner in Central Asia, where it is trying to increase its standing, while Uzbekistan hopes to receive increased access to technology and European markets via Romania.[12]
 Russia 1992
 Tajikistan
 United States 1992 See United States – Uzbekistan relations
  • The United States recognized the independence of Uzbekistan on December 25, 1991, and opened an embassy in Tashkent in March 1992. The Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington, D.C. opened in February 1993.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Uzbekistan: EU Officials Hold Talks In Tashkent Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  2. ^ Unattributed (2009-04-01). "Oman, Uzbekistan sign agreements on double taxation, investment protection". Oman Daily Observer. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  3. ^ Belarussian embassy in Tashkent (in Russian only)
  4. ^ "Bulgarian embassy in Tashkent". Retrieved 2009-05-05. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ Embassy of Denmark in Moscow
  7. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark: Uzbekistan
  8. ^ [1] Uzbekistan country study
  9. ^ Martha Brill Olcott. "Central Asian Neighbors". Kyrgyzstan: a country study (Glenn E. Curtis, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (March 1996). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ "Interview of Ambassador of Malaysia to Uzbekistan". The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Musharraf signs Uzbek agreements - BBC News
  12. ^ "Romanian foreign minister to attend EU-Central Asia security forum in Paris". BBC Monitoring Service. September 18, 2008. 
  13. ^ Stern, David L. (September 1, 2008). "Tajikistan Hopes Water Will Power Its Ambitions". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 

External links[edit]