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Uzbekistan, China Sign Friendship Agreement

President Karimov 15 June 2004 -- The presidents of China and Uzbekistan today signed a joint friendship and cooperation agreement between the two countries.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Uzbek President Islam Karimov signed a package of some 10 treaties and agreements including anti-drug trafficking measures and economic partnerships.

At a press conference with President Hu, Karimov said: "We are in full solidarity with China in the fight against the three evils: international terrorism, extremism, and separatism."

Hu added: "In the course of the talks I warmly invited President Karimov to make another visit to China when it is convenient for him, and President Karimov happily received this invitation." Hu arrived in Uzbekistan yesterday for a visit aimed at strengthening security and economic ties between the two countries.

On 17 June, Hu is due to attend a meeting of heads of state of the six members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The SCO was founded in 1996 as the Shanghai Five and renamed in 2001 after Uzbekistan joined the organization.