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Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov at the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council

(Hamburg, December 8, 2016)

On behalf of the delegation of Uzbekistan, allow me to welcome the participants of today's meeting and express the words of gratitude to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier for hospitality extended to our delegation.
I would like to inform that on December 4, 2016 Uzbekistan held early presidential election. According to preliminary outcomes, as a result of free expression of the people’s will, Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoev who secured 88,6 percent of votes has been elected as new President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Over 600 independent foreign observers from 47 states and several international and regional organizations monitored the preparation and conduction of presidential election. In particular, they included such high-profile structures as the UN, OSCE, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Association of World Election Bodies.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights played a special role in monitoring the electoral process. At the invitation of the Central Election Commission of the Republic Uzbekistan and based on the decision of the ODIHR, a full-scale observation Mission has been deployed in our country for the first time with participation of 20 long-term and 150 short-term observers. We must note that all conditions were created and the doors of all state bodies, civil society institutions and polling stations were opened to the Mission in order to allow it to comprehensively observe the electoral process.
I would like to especially thank the ODIHR and its director Mr. Georg Link, as well as the head of the Mission Ambassador Peter Tejler for their assistance in monitoring the presidential election in our country.
Uzbekistan stands ready to further continue constructive cooperation with the OSCE in improving and strengthening the electoral system of the country.
Dear colleagues,
I would like to briefly dwell upon the following issues.
Uzbekistan will maintain the continuity and consistency of its foreign policy, aimed at protecting and promoting the core interests of the country. Steadiness of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy is determined by a strong commitment to fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, the CSCE Helsinki Final Act and the Constitution of the Republic Uzbekistan, as well as all previously undertaken obligations under international law.
Uzbekistan is a strong supporter of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, and addressing emerging contradictions and conflicts only by peaceful, political means. Uzbekistan made a principle and unequivocal choice - not to join any military-political blocs and alliances, not to allow deployment of foreign military bases on its territory, not to send its troops abroad.
The region of Central Asia remains the main priority of foreign political activity of Uzbekistan. Namely, pursuing open, friendly and pragmatic policy towards its immediate neighbors.
Against the background of serious challenges and threats in the region, in the conditions of severe clash of various ideologies and movements, preserving and strengthening peace and stability in Central Asia, turning it into the area of security and sustainable development remains among the main tasks of foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Continuing instability in Afghanistan poses a serious threat to the vast region. In these conditions, it is important to continue to facilitate the achievement of peace and stability in this country, peaceful political negotiations, as well as the achievement of national reconciliation among central government and main political forces including the Taliban movement.
Protection and preservation of the environment acquires great importance for Central Asia, especially considering the consequences of the Aral Sea tragedy.
Uzbekistan considers the OSCE as a forum for an equal dialogue among states in which the issues of security, economy and human dimension should have a balanced and equal nature. We stand for further strengthening of its potential in the economic and environmental dimensions.
We support such aspects of activity of the Organization as fighting against transnational threats, including terrorism and radicalism, cross-border narcotics trafficking and cyber crime.
In conclusion, allow me once again express gratitude to the Chairmanship of Germany in the Organization and personally Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier for commendable implementation of commitments and wish success to Austria as the next chair country in fulfilling the challenging tasks faced by the OSCE.
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