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Uzbek, Chinese Presidents Hold Talks, Sign Deals

Uzbek President Islam Karimov concludes a two-day visit to China on August 20 following talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The two leaders on August 19 reportedly approved a five-year development plan for bilateral relations and signed a joint declaration.

They also witnessed the signing of several documents aimed at fostering technological and economic cooperation, as well as deals worth more than $6 billion in the energy, high technology, banking, and financial sectors.

China's Xinhua news agency says Karimov and Xi also agreed to give priority to the construction of part of a natural-gas pipeline network linking China and former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Karimov last met the Chinese president in May on the sidelines of a summit in Shanghai.

The Russian news agency Interfax says Uzbek-Chinese trade stood at $5.2 billion in 2013 and topped $2.6 billion from January-June 2014.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Xinhua