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Uzbek Delegation's Visit To Kyrgyzstan Signals Thaw In Complicated Ties

Concerts and meetings with the Uzbek delegation were held in the city of Osh.

An Uzbek government delegation arriving in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Osh on October 26 was given a notably warm welcome by the Kyrgyz side.

Kyrgyz deputy prime ministers Mukhamedkalyi Abylgaziev and Zhenish Razakov met the Uzbek delegation of some 140 officials at the Dostuk border crossing. Concerts and meetings with the leaders of Kyrgyzstan's Uzbek diaspora were later held in the city of Osh.

Media reported that Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev held a telephone conversation with Uzbekistan's acting president, Shavkat Mirziyaev, during which Atambaev expressed "gratitude to Uzbekistan's leadership for its move to strengthen Kyrgyz-Uzbek ties."

On October 2, the Uzbek government invited a Kyrgyz government delegation to Uzbekistan's eastern city of Andijon, where unprecedented welcome ceremonies were offered to the Kyrgyz visitors.

Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations were marred by deadly ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan's south between Kyrgyz and local ethnic Uzbeks in 2010.

Mirziyaev, who took over Uzbekistan after the death of its long-term authoritarian leader Islam Karimov was announced on September 2, has made several moves signaling an intention to improve Uzbekistan's ties with neighboring Central Asian countries.