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Foreign minister Urmas Paet: Uzbekistan has an important role to play in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan

28.03.2014

Foreign minister Urmas Paet said in Tashkent while meeting with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, that Estonia's relations with Uzbekistan are important from the standpoint of energy supply and economic relations, as well as security policy. “We consider cooperation between Uzbekistan and the European Union and the development of economic ties to be essential,” Paet said.

Speaking on the subject of ensuring stability in Afghanistan, Paet emphasized the need to pay special attention in the short term to the greater security challenge, or in other words, the impending situation following the departure of international security forces from Afghanistan. “Uzbekistan has an important role to play, given its relations with Afghanistan, as well as Uzbekistan’s activities as a NATO partner country.

NATO-Uzbekistan partnership must be fully developed, from the standpoint of bilateral relations, as well as in the broader context of stability in the region,” Paet said.

The ministers also discussed the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Paet confirmed that Estonia is also ready to support Uzbekistan in the area of cooperative development and by sharing its experiences. “We consider projects carried out via international organizations to be very useful,” the foreign minister said. “We feel that cooperation with the United Nation’s educational, scientific and cultural organization UNESCO to have particularly good future prospects. The head of the UNESCO representation in Tashkent happens to be from Estonia. We recently allocated 50 000 euros to UNESCO’s representation in Uzbekistan in support of activities to develop media quality and the communication sector,” he added.

The foreign ministers also discussed strengthening bilateral cultural and educational relations and the mutual appointment of honorary consuls. “We hope that the visa application process for Estonian citizens will be simplified soon, which in turn would benefit tourist relations,” Paet said.

Foreign minister Paet and an accompanying Estonian business delegation are in Uzbekistan, where an Estonian-Uzbek business seminar took place yesterday. Representatives of the following Estonian businesses are accompanying the foreign minister on his visit to Uzbekistan: the Port of Tallinn; EVR Cargo Ltd., which is Estonia's largest and the oldest railway freight company; Andmevara Ltd., which deals with registries, databases and information systems development, as well as the development of integrated IT solutions; alcohol producer Liviko Ltd.; Repo Vabrikud Ltd., which manufactures components for the furniture industry (veneer, plywood, panels and boards); FE Metal Works LLC, which manufactures metal constructions for mechanical engineering and building; Morbela LLC, which supplies Mobil lubricants for vehicles; real estate firm Port Arthur Group LLC and Neiser Group LLC, in furniture sales.

Members of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Enterprise Estonia are also part of the delegation.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/


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