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Kazakh President Nazarbaev To Visit Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev will pay a working visit to Uzbekistan and attend the opening of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat.

Talking to journalists in Astana on September 14, Nazarbaev confirmed earlier reports that he will visit the two neighboring Central Asian countries on September 16-17.

Nazarbaev's press service said earlier that the Kazakh president will take part in the work of the Kazakh-Uzbek business forum in Tashkent on September 16 and will attend the opening of the Asian Games in Ashgabat the next day.

Ties between two major players in Central Asia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, have been improving after Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev took over the region's most populous country of more than 30 million following the death of his predecessor, Islam Karimov, a year ago.

During Karimov's more than quarter-century rule, Uzbekistan was at odds with its neighbors over issues ranging from border disputes and ethnic standoffs to economic disagreements linked to water distribution and energy transportation across the region.

Mirziyoev and his government openly proclaimed that their foreign policy's priority is improving ties with neighboring former Soviet republics.

On September 15, Uzbekistan's presidential press service said that Mirziyoev will also attend the opening of the Asian Games in Ashgabat on September 17, where he is expected to hold talks with leaders of other countries.

Tajik media reports said earlier that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will be in Ashgabat on September 17 as well.

Based on reporting by Kazinform, Tengrinews, Interfax,, and RIA Novosti