Turkiye and Uzbekistan are taking robust steps towards expanding their trade volume to $5 billion, with the figure topping $3.6 million as of last year, the Turkish president said on Tuesday
In an article for the daily New Uzbekistan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the bilateral and historical ties between the two countries ahead of a two-day visit to the country at the invitation of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The Turkish leader said the "eternal friendship and cooperation” between Turkiye and Uzbekistan were founded on the "law of brotherhood" and that they had enjoyed diplomatic ties for three decades.
He also added that Ankara took pride in being the first country to recognize Uzbek independence in 1991.
"Uzbekistan is a country capable of playing an important role in its region and beyond, with its deep historical background and state tradition, a young and dynamic population of more than 34 million, which accounts for roughly half of the Central Asian population, its geo-strategic location in the heart of Asia, its rich natural resources and fertile lands," Erdogan said.
Noting that the relations between Ankara and Tashkent had leveled up to a "strategical partnership" in 2017, Erdogan said talks slated for Tuesday and Wednesday would focus on cooperation in a variety of fields, including energy, agriculture, industry, and culture, as well as agreements to be signed that would further enhance the countries' ties.
"We regard deepening our relations with brotherly Uzbekistan in every field, rather than a choice, as a responsibility placed on our shoulders by our special ties and history during this period, when Turkiye handled its relations with the ancient continent with a more comprehensive approach under the slogan Asia Anew in the Asian Century," he said.
The improvement of bilateral relations and steps rapidly taken since 2017 bore fruit as the trade volume between Turkiye and Uzbekistan topped $3.6 million in 2021 despite the setbacks of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Erdogan, who said the pre-set goal of $5 billion was within reach and new records in bilateral trade would hopefully be set in 2022.
We believe that our joint efforts to establish a better future with brotherly Uzbekistan will benefit all of humanity, he said.