Press Releases, 6/4/2008
Strengthening Uzbekistan, OSCE co-operation mutually beneficial, says Foreign Minister Stubb
Press release 198/2008
4 June, 2008
Uzbekistan is an important partner for regional stability, and the country's active participation in the OSCE would be mutually beneficial, said the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb in Tashkent today.
"The OSCE and Uzbekistan can continue to achieve much together, and I hope that my visit will result in strengthening our co-operation for our common security and prosperity," said Minister Stubb during a one-day visit to Uzbekistan.
Minister Stubb met President Islam Karimov, Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov and Speaker of the Parliament Dilorom Tachmukhamedova. They discussed the work of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan and the Organization's comprehensive approach to security, including political-military stability, economic and environmental concerns, and human rights, democracy and rule of law, as well as OSCE initiatives to enhance engagement with Afghanistan.
"The OSCE is always evolving to meet emerging security challenges. The decision by Uzbekistan and the other 55 participating States to enhance engagement with Afghanistan to promote regional stability is proof of this," said Stubb.
"With Uzbekistan's support the OSCE is an ideal platform for tackling regional concerns such as strengthening border security, while enabling trade and the legal transit of people, as well as combating drug trafficking, terrorism and violent extremism."
The Chairman-in-Office also met representatives of Uzbekistan's non-governmental organizations to hear about their work.
"A diversity of voices is a vital resource for any democratic society, and it was important for me to learn about the work of Uzbekistan's civil society," said Stubb, who also noted Uzbekistan's ongoing initiatives with the OSCE to develop civil society as well as increase the role of women in public and political life.
The Chairman-in-Office said that the OSCE and its Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan stood ready to deepen co-operation in this and other areas, including legislative reform.
Further information: Aleksi Härkönen, Head of the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship Task Force, tel. +358 400 330 406; Mikko Hautala, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 834 6758