(June 19, 2021, Antalya)
Distinguished heads of state and government,
First of all, I want to express a deep gratitude to the brotherly people and the leadership of Turkey for traditional warm hospitality and the high level of organization of today’s event.
Distinguished participants of the Forum,
Today’s Forum creates conducive environment for all of us to jointly evaluate the outstanding issues on the agenda, identify the perspective directions of the regional and international cooperation, and exchange views on the acute topics.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum is especially important because it is being held at a time of pandemic, which is serving as a matter of serious trial for all of us.
Extending partnerships among the states, resolving the international issues by way of peace and political negotiations and the notion of diplomacy began acquiring a completely new meaning and essence.
The information exchange and the new opportunities emerging in the sphere of advanced communication technologies require the states to entirely review their activities in the field of diplomacy and put them in line with modern times’ demands. Since the sphere of diplomacy and its actors are constantly expanding with a new shape and format of the dialogue – the digital diplomacy is being widely used. The acute processes and notions described as the public diplomacy and «the soft power» are penetrating deep into a daily life.
The most important feature of today is an innovation. Each sphere is being renovated rapidly. Therefore, it is time’s call to apply and step in line with innovations in diplomacy.
We believe that the young people studying today in the field of international relations, the future diplomats, should have a practical understanding of current changes and innovations.
The forthcoming generation of young diplomats should not only be well-versed in history, international relations, economics and social sphere, but also have a deep understanding of the new concepts and definitions such as the «Internet diplomacy», «Innovative diplomacy», «Public diplomacy» and stand ready to develop the new approaches. Therefore we have no doubts that Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which is being held today on the initiative of Turkey, is relevant and making great contribution to this process.
Distinguished participants of the Forum,
Speaking about modern international relations, it should be noted that Asia has begun to rise again since the 21st century. Asia is on the agenda more than ever presenting many opportunities with its own potential.
Therefore, the «New Asia Initiative» («Yeniden Asya Girişimi») put forward by Turkey gives a new impetus to the expansion and development of cooperation between the countries of the continent in the pursuit of mutual interests and common objectives. In this process, the positive changes in the Central Asia, which can be called the Heart of Asia, are also of profound importance.
The large-scale reforms, openness and renewal carried out in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in recent years are also reflected in the country’s foreign policy, in particular, in the relations with neighboring Central Asian states.
The establishment of an atmosphere of peace, stability and security in the Central Asian region, development and strengthening of the friendly, good-neighborly and mutually beneficial relations with neighbours are identified as the priorities of the foreign policy of new Uzbekistan.
As a result, the political dialogue and mutual trust have been strengthened in Central Asia. The Consultative Meetings of Presidents have been established. The comprehensive bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the region has reached a new level.
In particular, as a result of the open, constructive, thoughtful and pragmatic policy of Uzbekistan towards Central Asia, complex issues such as rational use of water, delimitation and demarcation of state borders, the efficient use of transport communications and crossing state borders between Uzbekistan and neighboring countries have been solved.
Uzbekistan’s trade turnover with Central Asian countries is growing on average by more than 50% per year. Improving trade and economic relations between the Central Asian countries paved the way to increasing the investment attractiveness of the whole region.
Uzbekistan believes that the prospects for sustainable development in Central Asia are directly linked with the establishment and development of peace in neighboring Afghanistan. It is vital to expand and deepen cooperation, in particular, to ensure and strengthen Afghanistan's integration with Central Asia through the implementation of regional infrastructure, trade, investment, transit and transport projects.
Over the past four years Uzbekistan has been expanding trade cooperation with Afghanistan and is considering a number of major transport and communication projects, including the construction of the Mazare-Sharif-Herat, Mazare-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railways.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Using this this opportunity, I would like to draw your attention to the upcoming International High-Level Conference, will be held
in Tashkent on 15-16 July 2021 named «Central and South Asia: Regional connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities». The purpose is to demonstrate strategic vision on strengthening connectivity in Central and South Asia, discussion of concrete proposals to utilize the transport and transit potential of both regions, ensuring access to promising markets, attraction of investment, innovation and technology, intensification of humanitarian and tourism exchanges.
Uzbekistan is interested in developing international cooperation and dialogue in the framework of such major events as the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. We express our deep gratitude to the President of the Republic of Turkey, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and my Brother Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who initiated this forum and made a great contribution to its successful launching.
Thank you for your attention.
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