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New Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov Visits Uzbekistan


Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov upon his arrival in Tashkent on December 13.

New Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov is on an official visit to neighboring Uzbekistan.

Jeenbekov, who took office on November 24, arrived in Tashkent for a two-day visit on December 13.

Jeenbekov, who was met at the airport by the prime minister and foreign minister, was to meet with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev to discuss economic, political, and cultural ties.

Shortly after arriving, he laid flowers at a monument to Islam Karimov, the autocratic president who led the Central Asian country for more than a quarter-century before his death in 2016.

Jeenbekov and Mirziyoev were expected to discuss issues related to the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, a source of tension since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

There have been numerous conflicts along the border, in some cases violent, but tension has decreased since Karimov's death.

Following an agreement with Uzbekistan, Jeenbekov's predecessor Almazbek Atambaev signed a law demarcating about 85 percent of the two countries' 1,280-kilometer border.

Mirziyoev has said that improving strained ties with Uzbekistan's neighbors is a major foreign policy priority.

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