Farrukh KHAKIMOV, “Development Strategy” Center, Head of Department
Despite the complex geopolitical processes, conflicts and various crises taking place in the world, Uzbekistan promotes its national interests and effectively implements its peaceful foreign policy as a full-fledged actor of international relations.
The amendments and additions to the updated Constitution improve amongst others the constitutional foundations of the peaceful foreign policy of Uzbekistan. In particular, it is determined that Uzbekistan will strive to strengthen and develop friendly relations with the world community, primarily with neighbouring states on the basis of cooperation, mutual support, peace and harmony.
Indeed, for the last years following the prioritization of the development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the neighboring Central Asian states as the main priority of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy and also thanks to measures and initiatives in this priority direction, political dialogue and mutual trust have been strengthened in the region. Consultative meetings of the Heads of Central Asian States was established, the exchange of mutual official visits at various levels were intensified and transport links between countries and cities were restored. Moreover, solutions were found to such complex issues as water use, delimitation and demarcation of state borders, border crossing, and the use of transport communications at the regional level.
As a result of growing trade and economic relations between the Central Asian countries, by the end of 2022 the volume of regional foreign trade turnover of Uzbekistan has increased by 3 times compared to 2016 and amounted $7.5 billion.
Noteworthy that today the exchange of high-level official visits of Uzbekistan with neighbouring countries becomes regular, and the number and scope of bilateral and multilateral agreements signed in their framework are also expanding. In particular, during the past period, Uzbekistan established a strategic partnership with neighbouring Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan (2017) and Tajikistan (2018). In December 2022 Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan signed the treaty on allied relations.
On top of that, it has been signed the multilateral “Agreement on Friendship, Neighborliness, and Cooperation for Development of Central Asia in the 21st Century” within the framework of the fourth Consultative meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States on July 7, 2022 held in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyz Republic.
Achieving such kind of important bilateral and multilateral agreements and treaties with neighbouring countries is the result of Uzbekistan’s peaceful, pragmatic and active diplomacy. These also took the regional foreign policy of Uzbekistan to a new stage, which in turn became one of the important strategic steps in ensuring peace and stability in Central Asia.
Moreover, signing of these documents is an example of the development of friendship and cooperation between Central Asia states, at a time when the lack of communication and trust is increasing at the global.
The role and efforts of Uzbekistan in the process of establishing peace in neighbouring Afghanistan are also noteworthy. In particular, at the initiative of President Sh. Mirziyoyev, one of the priority tasks of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy was focused on achieving peace in Afghanistan, and this country began to be recognized as a source of opportunities rather than a threat.
In this regard, a number of infrastructural and cultural-humanitarian projects are being implemented by Uzbekistan, which serve to establish peace in Afghanistan and regional cooperation between Central and South Asia. In addition, the delivery of the main international humanitarian aid to the Afghan people has been established through the territory of Uzbekistan.
In recent years, the friendly neighbourhood and mutually beneficial cooperation have been strengthened not only with the Central Asian countries, but also there is rapidly developing the political-diplomatic, trade-economic, socio-humanitarian and strategic cooperation with countries of the world, in particular European, American, Caucasian, Southeast Asian nations, Arab countries, and the countries in Indian and Pacific regions.
Uzbekistan’s chairmanship in three prestigious international organizations – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Organization of Turkic States, and the Economic Cooperation Organization in 2022-2023, as well as the successful organization of several summits in the country with the participation of the leaders of the member states of these organizations, opened a new page in the foreign political activity and multilateral diplomacy of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan’s active foreign policy, in addition to increasing the international prestige of the country, serves to make Central Asia a stable and attractive region with great opportunities.
Renewing constitution, as an important political document for Uzbekistan, also creates the solid foundation for consistently conducting the mutually beneficial, open and pragmatic foreign policy of Uzbekistan, ensuring an environment of peace, stability and security around the country, further strengthening friendly neighbourliness and mutually beneficial relations with Central Asian states and other partners as well as international organizations by actively promoting national interests of the country.