Anwar arrives in Uzbekistan for three-day official visit

TASHKENT: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived here on Friday (May 17) for his inaugural three-day official visit to Uzbekistan, aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in various fields between the two countries.

The special aircraft carrying the Prime Minister from Kazakhstan landed at the Tashkent International Airport here at 2.15pm local time (5.15pm Malaysian time).

Upon arrival, Anwar was greeted by Uzbekistan Prime Minister Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov, Foreign Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov, Tashkent Mayor Shavkat Umrzakov, Uzbekistan ambassador to Malaysia Karomidin Gadoev and Malaysian ambassador to Uzbekistan Ilham Tuah Illias.

The visit to the country, according to the Foreign Ministry, is at the invitation of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Uzbekistan is the last stop of Anwar’s visit to three Central Asian countries. Anwar had earlier made official visits to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

During his visit to Uzbekistan, the Prime Minister would be accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar.

From the airport, the Prime Minister will depart to the Independence Monument in Yangi Uzbekistan Park for the Wreath Laying Ceremony and later to the Kuksaroy Presidential Residence where he is scheduled to meet President Mirziyoyev for a bilateral meeting to discuss relations between Malaysia and Uzbekistan, as well as explore potential areas of cooperation.

On Saturday (May 19), the prime minister will visit the Imam Hazrati Complex, where the original manuscript of the Caliph Usman Quran (Mashaf Uthmani) - the oldest in the world - is kept and displayed.

From Tashkent, the Prime Minister will travel to Samarkand, where he is expected to address the High-Level Uzbekistan-Malaysian Business Forum held at the Silk Road Samarkand Tourism Complex.

Malaysia and Uzbekistan have enjoyed close relations since they established ties in 1992.

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country surrounded by five countries: Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Tajikistan to the southeast, Afghanistan to the south and Turkmenistan to the southwest.

In 2023, Malaysia-Uzbekistan’s total trade was RM451.1mil (US$94.03mil), with exports to Uzbekistan amounting to RM449mil (US$93.6mil) and imports amounting to RM1.99mil (US$414,518).

The last visit of a Malaysian prime minister to Uzbekistan was made by Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2008. - Bernama

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