US delegation to hold talks in Bishkek, Tashkent

Caravanserai

TASHKENT -- A US delegation is set to hold talks with government officials in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Monday-Thursday (February 25-28), the US Embassy in Tashkent said in a statement Monday.

The delegation will be led by US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells.

In Bishkek, Wells is expected to hold discussions with students and faculty at the American University of Central Asia.

Wells "will also participate in a joint public event with Kyrgyz Finance Minister Baktygul Jeenbaeva to mark the successful co-operative efforts by the US governments to return $4.6 million of assets stolen by the family of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev to the Kyrgyz people", the embassy said.

Meanwhile, in Tashkent, Wells will lead a US government inter-agency delegation to conduct US-Uzbekistan Annual Bilateral Consultations with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.

Wells and Uzbek government officials will discuss US-Uzbek co-operation on "global and regional security issues, the peace process in Afghanistan, economic and trade agreements, human rights, including religious freedom and joint US-Uzbek programmes on judicial reform, public education and women's rights", said the embassy.

This is the first Annual Bilateral Consultations following President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visit to Washington last May, when Uzbekistan and the United States declared a new era of strategic partnership.

"The United States looks forward to strengthening our partnership with Uzbekistan to support the implementation of President Mirziyoyev's reform agenda and advancing the strong bilateral ties between our two peoples," the embassy said.

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