Uzbekistan has risen as a pivotal regional player due to the dynamic policies of its leadership. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s introduction of grand initiatives and robust reforms has not only earned him an exceptional standing in the country but also positioned him as the most popular and dynamic leader in the region. His farsightedness, vision, and ambitious proposal and role for regional connectivity have set a remarkable precedent for an excellent governance model and the successful conduct of statecraft.
President Mirziyoyev’s commitment to transforming Uzbekistan into a welfare state and the conceptual and legal framework of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy align with the evolving dynamics of the global landscape. Uzbekistan’s foreign policy is characterized by a commitment to enhancing cooperation with regional states.
President Mirziyoyev’s active engagement on both regional and global fronts has established a framework of mutually beneficial relations with partner nations, aiming to foster peace and collaboration. A central focus has been the revival of Central-South Asian regional connectivity, a vision that has yielded significant outcomes in contemporary times.
Uzbekistan has always looked forward to expanding the country’s potential by fostering technological advancement, regional cooperation, economic expansion, trade, commerce, and academic excellence.
President Mirziyoyev’s proactive role in enhancing socio-economic connections has positioned Uzbekistan as a global player. The country’s commitment to sustainable development and the revival of interregional harmony align with President Mirziyoyev’s overarching policy. Uzbekistan’s emergence as a potential stakeholder for regional cooperation and peace is evident in the international events and conferences hosted by the country, contributing to its positive regional integration.
Uzbekistan’s aspirations extend beyond regional borders, as evidenced by its ambition to extend the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan Gas Pipeline project and other energy supply initiatives towardneighboring countries. Notably, in October 2022, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan reached a compromise on disputed border areas, solidifying the resolution through parliamentary ratification. Additionally, joint efforts with Tajikistan resulted in the signing of a new border protocol by the demarcation commission.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed measures during the “Regional cooperation among the states of Central Asia” conference, such as establishing the UN Counter-Terrorism Office in Central Asia, hosting a 2023 Youth Council in Samarkand, and creating a Unified Electronic Network on Cyberterrorism.
Uzbekistan’s bilateral relations with China extend beyond historical ties to the Silk Road, as outlined in comprehensive economic partnership documents signed at the China-Central Asia summit. The historical significance of Uzbekistan as a “transport bridge” offers opportunities for regional connectivity.
Addressing regional integration, the President of Uzbekistan proposed measures during the “Regional Cooperation among the States of Central Asia” conference, such as establishing the UN Counter-Terrorism Office in Central Asia, hosting a 2023 Youth Council in Samarkand, and creating a Unified Electronic Network on Cyberterrorism.
Grand Uzbek Contribution in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
Uzbekistan assumed the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2022. Uzbekistan also held the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2004, 2010, and 2016. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev presented an ambitious vision for ‘Reviving Central-South Asian Regional Connectivity’.The proactive participation of regional heads of state and high-level dignitaries at the summit signifies immense trust in Uzbek leadership on the global stage.
Held in the illustrious city of Samarkand, situated in the heart of the Great Silk Road, the summit served as a symbolic center for inter-civilizational dialogue, mutual cultural and spiritual enrichment, as well as trade and scientific exchange, echoing its historical significance. President Mirziyoyev’s proactive approach to SCO is dedicated to fostering goodwill to elevate people-to-people contacts and enhance coordination, collaboration, and regional connectivity among SCO member countries.
The Summit had attracted significant attention, underscoring the dynamic and proactive leadership of Uzbekistan in spearheading regional progress, robust economic development, and the pursuit of shared aspirations. The president has played an integral role in proposing impactful projects that foster alignment and cooperation among other states.
Uzbekistan’s Humanitarian Assistance in Afghanistan:
Uzbekistan has assumed a crucial role as a central hub for delivering humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, showcasing its commitment to alleviating the pressing needs of the Afghans. President Mirziyoyev, on many platforms, spoke up for delivering humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has played a dynamic role in the country’s reconstruction process, addressing common security issues and advocating for the strengthening of cross-border security infrastructure.
Summit of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Uzbekistan
The 16th ECO Summit held in Tashkent further exemplifies Uzbekistan’s commitment to regional economic cooperation. The summit provides an opportunity to interact with ECO member states, develop common approaches to regional issues, and prioritize key objectives for the organization’s development. Uzbekistan’s advocacy for interregional transit hubs, modern transport infrastructure, and digitalization in the transport industry aligns with its broader vision for promoting trade and investment opportunities with other regions.
Uzbek Participation in Multiple Multilateral Platforms
Uzbekistan’s bilateral relations with China extend beyond historical ties to the Silk Road, as outlined in comprehensive economic partnership documents signed at the China-Central Asia summit. The historical significance of Uzbekistan as a transport bridge offers opportunities for regional connectivity.
Within the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has championed initiatives fostering mutual understanding, market openness, connectivity, digitalization, and environmental solutions through the Green Asia program. Uzbekistan continues to serve as a vital player in this forum for constructive dialogue and cooperation in achieving peace and security.
In the context of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Uzbekistan had proposed a roadmap for forming alternative trade-logistics routes, promoting efficient value chains, utilizing complementary reserves in economies, and enhancing business relations. The initiative also includes measures to boost mutual investments, promote projects, and host a forum on industrial cooperation and innovative development within the CIS
In conclusion, under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visionary leadership, Uzbekistan has emerged as a significant regional player and a proactive global contributor. The nation’s commitment to fostering peace, socioeconomic development, and regional connectivity positions it as a key stakeholder in the evolving geopolitical landscape.
Written by:- Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future (PRCCSF), Islamabad