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Uzbekistan Emphasizes It Seeks Closer Ties With Neighbors

Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov

Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov has reiterated Tashkent's intention of forging closer cooperation with other Central Asian countries.

Kamilov said on August 11 that President Shavkat Mirziyoev, who came to power after the death of longtime autocrat Islam Karimov was announced in September 2016, has from the start advocated "close cooperation with all countries in the region" to solve all "vitally important issues."

"We are ready for mutual cooperation with all neighboring states," Kamilov said at an international conference in Tashkent.

"We are open to solve the most acute issues on the basis of reasonable compromises," Kamilov said.

During Karimov's more than 25-year 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 has taken a series of steps to mend fences with neighbors.

The conference, called Central Asia -- A Major Priority Of Uzbekistan's Foreign Policy, began on August 11 and is being attended by representatives of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others.

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