President of Egypt Husni Mubarak on Wednesday, 18 April 2007, received Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who is currently paying a three-day visit to Egypt.
Talks between the two leaders tackled the latest developments in Palestine, Iraq, Iranian nuclear file and its implications on security in the Gulf, Central Asia and the World at large. Talks also touched on ways of boosting Egyptian Uzbek relations in the fields of trade, investment and economy. The talks also touched on ways of cementing cooperation in the field of culture, tourism, science and information and encouraging the establishment of partnerships among private sector companies in both countries.
Presidents Mubarak and Karimov presided over an expanded session of talks attended by delegations from both countries and tackled bilateral relations. Then, President Mubarak hosted a lunch banquet on honour of the Uzbek President and his accompanying delegation. In a joint statement, the two Presidents voiced support to all efforts aimed at averting clashes among civilizations.
They also underlined the necessity of respect for religions and cultural identities and traditions of peoples. The two Presidents highlighted their full cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference to coordinate stances on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
According to the joint statement, talks between the Egyptian and Uzbek Presidents dealt with means of boosting bilateral cooperation in the various domains. The two leaders voiced their support for all efforts aimed at non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Uzbek side voiced support for the Egyptian initiative rendering the Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction.
"President Hosni Mubarak is keen to beef up cooperation ties with central Asian countries," Presidential spokesman said Wednesday. In statements after the meeting between Mubarak and visiting Uzbek President Islam Karimov on Wednesday, Solaiman Awwad said the two Presidents probed the latest developments in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The talks also dwelt on trade, economic and investment cooperation, he added. The two leaders also probed the outcome of the joint Egyptian-Uzbek committee meeting in Tashkent in March. President Mubarak has made it clear months ago that Egypt was seeking to contain crises in the region to avoid further complications.
This is evident in Egyptian efforts to address the situation in Syria, Lebanon as well as the volatile conditions in Iraq and Darfur, he said. On whether Egypt’s efforts to activate ties with central Asian countries were meant to address a message to Iran, Awwad said invigoration of ties is an objective in itself rather than a means to send a message to Iran. Cooperation with central Asian countries in the investment, trade and economic domains is among President Mubarak’s priorities, he said. When President Mubarak meets any of the leaders of these countries, it should not be taken within other contexts.
On recent statements by a US official on US commitment to guaranteeing Israel’s military supremacy in the region, Awwad said he would not talk of military issues. Yet, he said Egypt hoped the US would play a neutral part in the region to give a real push to the peace process. Asked if Egypt would send a peacekeeping contingent to Sudan’s western region of Darfur, Awwad cited previous statements by President Mubarak rejecting that unless the Abuja peace agreement was expanded to include all Darfur parties.
Moreover, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and visiting Uzbek President Islam Karimov attended on Wednesday a ceremony marking the signing of ten cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries.
The agreements and MoUs cover the investment, banks, combating organized crime and terrorism, culture, sport and mass media domains. The first agreement which is represented in a MoU between the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Central Bank of Uzbekistan was signed by CBE Deputy Governor Tarek Amer and F. Mullajanov, the Governor of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan.
The second agreement covers cooperation between the two countries in the investment domain. It was signed by chairman of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Zyad Bahaa Eddin and Uzbek Minister of Foreign and Economic Affairs Elyor Ganiev.
The third one is a cooperation agreement in the judicial domain. It was signed by Egyptian Justice Minister Mamdouh Marie and Uzbek Foreign Minister V. Norov.
The fourth agreement which covers bilateral cooperation in the field of combating terrorism and organized crime was hammered out by Egyptian Justice Minister Mamdouh Marie and chairman of the Uzbek National Security Council R. Inoyatov.
The fifth one is a cooperation memorandum of understanding between the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Uzbek national library. It was inked by Minister of Higher Education Hani Helal and his Uzbek opposite number R. Kasimov.
The sixth agreement was signed by Minister of Higher Education Hani Helal and his Uzbek counterpart R. Kasimov. It is a protocol on culture cooperation between the two countries.
The seventh is cooperation MoU in the sport domain. It was inked by Minister of Higher Education Hani Helal and his Uzbek opposite number R. Kasimov.
The eighth agreement is a cooperation agreement between the Egyptian Organization for Standardisation and Quality Control and the Uzbekistan Agency for Standardisation, Metrology and Certification. It was hammered out by Egyptian Administrative Development Minister Ahmed Darwish and Uzbek Minister of Foreign Economic Relations V. Norov.
The ninth one is a protocol on cooperation between the two countries in the information domain. It was inked by Egyptian Information Minister Anas el-Fiqi and Uzbek Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov.
The tenth and last agreement is a MoU on cooperation between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade. Signing the agreement were Egyptian Minister of Economic Development Osman Mohamed Osman and Uzbek Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments, and Trade E. Ganiev.