Uzbek President receives US General John Abizaid
US Armed Forces Central Command Chief Lt Gen John Abizaid discussed security cooperation with senior Uzbek officials on 13 August as part of his familiarisation tour of Central Asia.
Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov received John Abizaid at his presidential residence Oqsaroy on 13 August.
Welcoming John Abizaid´s visit, Islam Karimov said that the Uzbek government was interested not only in military and technical cooperation with the USA, but also in cooperation in the social, economic, political, cultural, and educational fields. Overall, the government is interested in developing comprehensive relations in various areas of society´s life, he said.
During the meeting, the sides discussed the present situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, rebuilding these countries, and also maintaining regional security, developing cooperation between Uzbekistan and the USA in the military and technical fields, cooperation in personnel training, and other issues of interest to the sides.
The delegation headed by John Abizaid also visited the Uzbek Defence Ministry, Uzbek TV's Akhborot reported.
Defence Minister Qodir Ghulomov congratulated the general on the appointment to his new position. He also stressed that two countries currently have developing military and technical cooperation, and that Uzbekistan would do its best to promote military cooperation.
He also informed John Abizaid that measures were being taken to improve the military situation in Uzbekistan. In particular, he gave detailed information on the progress of transforming the national army into an army that will be small in number and equipped with modern equipment.
During the talks, the sides discussed how to improve experience exchanges between military specialists, maintain regional security, and unify forces in the fight against international terrorism.
The discussion of these issues continued also at talks at the Uzbek Foreign Affairs Ministry.
At the talks at the Uzbek Foreign Affairs Ministry, Foreign Minister Sodiq Safoyev stressed that official Tashkent would always support the USA´s actions aimed at peace.
Monday, Abizaid met top officials in Tajikistan. Tuesday he discussed cooperation with Kyrgyz security and defence chiefs and visited a base which hosts about 1,500 troops from six countries.
[Source: Uzreport, August 14, 2003]
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