Turkish leader calls for renewed ties with Uzbekistan
AA PhotoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 18 that ties between Turkey and Uzbekistan should be developed further after the Central Asian country’s presidential election is held on Dec. 4.
“In this new period, we must work to improve our relations in all areas,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Erdoğan as saying during a meeting with Uzbekistan’s acting President and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Samarkand.
Uzbekistan’s Dec. 4 poll follows the death of former ruler Islam Karimov in September. Karimov had ruled the country with an iron fist for 27 years.
Mirziyoyev will run in the election for Liberal Democratic Party, which the late Karimov had represented.
Erdoğan said that following the Uzbekistan election the first official visits at presidential level should be between Ankara and Tashkent.
He described Uzbekistan as a “guarantee of the region’s stability” due to its deep-rooted state tradition, historical heritage and strategic position.
“I believe you will maintain Uzbekistan’s political stability and economic development … I wish you success for the Dec. 4 election,” he added.
Mirziyoyev said Turkey had been the first country to recognize Uzbekistan’s independence and had provided great support.
“We will never forget this … Turkey is a prestigious country and has great opportunities in the world. You are a leader who has great life and political experiences. Your eternal love and efforts for the Turkish people amaze me, like most people, and it is a lesson for us,” he added.
Mirziyoyev said Uzbekistan aimed to “improve relations based on equal rights and mutual respect and to turn a new page in cooperation between the two countries.”
Erdoğan’s visit to Uzbekistan follows his trip to Pakistan earlier this week. He is accompanied in Uzbekistand by deputy prime ministers Tuğrul Türkeş and Veysi Kaynak, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, National Intelligence Agency (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan, Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Vice-President Mehdi Eker, Prime Ministry’s Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) President Serdar Çam and TRT Director General Şenol Göka.