Uzbekistan celebrates Nowruz, first day of spring

By Li Ao

TASHKENT, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's determined steps toward building a new society were in tune with the philosophy and values of Nowruz, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said on Tuesday as the country celebrated the centuries-old spring holiday.

"We will accelerate the implementation of the large-scale programs we have begun for the comprehensive development of the economy and the social sphere," as well as other sectors of the society, Mirziyoyev said in his greeting speech during the official ceremony.

Since Mirziyoyev was elected president in 2016, Uzbekistan has taken a series of measures to promote economic reforms, including opening up the country for foreign investments.

Nowruz (Navruz in Uzbek) is widely celebrated on March 21 as the International Day of Navruz in accordance with a resolution of the United Nations. Nowruz means "new day" marking the first day of spring and is celebrated in all the five Central Asian countries, as well as in Iran, Afghanistan and some other countries.

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