Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of the French Republic Jean-Marc Ayrault arrived in Uzbekistan on an official visit. In his interview to the Information Agency "Jahon" the Foreign Minister of the Fifth Republic, said:
- I am very pleased to be in Uzbekistan. This is my first visit to your country, which has allowed me to learn more about the place with deep and rich history and culture.
Recently in Paris, I met with foreign ministers of Central Asian countries on the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations of France with these countries, then I also held negotiations with Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.
France is committed to a policy of respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uzbekistan. A fruitful cooperation is established between our countries and we wish to strengthen it.
I believe that your Republic is developing in the right way. Major changes have been implemented in such areas as state construction and management, judicial-legal field, economics, social support, security and stability, and other areas. We are ready to support the reforms, based on the consideration of interests and respect to Uzbekistan.
Such organizations as the French Development Agency and the French Alliance are already effective in your country. Such cooperation opens up great prospects for joint projects in the energy, agricultural, cultural-humanitarian direction, and can also facilitate the access of Uzbekistan to the financial instruments of the European Union. We are pleased to see constantly growing interest in learning the French language. More than 300 thousand people in the Republic are learning it and know it. In addition, Uzbekistan is the only Central Asian country with a French school operating in it. All of these serve as a good basis for enhancing our relations.
Another hot topic of negotiations were the issues of security and struggle against terrorism and extremism. In this area, France is also ready to cooperate with Uzbekistan. In the world today there is a threat of radical groups, who prepare extremists and send them in future to commit terrorist acts, including in European countries. Therefore, a consolidated approach is needed to meet these challenges. We see what great efforts are undertaken in Uzbekistan to ensure peace and stability in the region, we understand the importance and necessity of strengthening cooperation, its activation in this direction.
I would also like to say that the program of the visit includes a visit to the historical complex of Hazrati Imam in Tashkent, which, as I see, symbolises the open and tolerant Islam – what we collectively are trying to preserve and maintain.
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