2017 Muttonen visit UzbekistanOSCE PA President Christine Muttonen and Secretary General Roberto Montella with Speaker of Uzbekistan’s Legislative Assembly Nurdinjon Ismoilov, Tashkent, 8 May 2017TASHKENT, 10 May 2017 – OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen concludes today a three-day visit to Uzbekistan, during which she has discussed the country’s ongoing reforms and potential areas for co-operation with the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly.

“Uzbekistan is an essential partner to tackle our joint challenges, and I am glad that Tashkent has decided to address these by strengthening its engagement with the OSCE,” said Muttonen. “Uzbekistan has also outlined an enterprising reform programme, and the OSCE stands ready to assist the country in implementing these ambitious efforts.”

The 2017-2021 Action Strategy for the Development of Uzbekistan outlines five priority areas, including good governance, respect for the rule of law, the liberalization of the economy, strengthening civil society, and the implementation of balanced and constructive foreign relations. The reforms also aim to empower the country’s legislature through greater parliamentary oversight and the introduction of a dialogue mechanism between citizens and members of parliament.

President Muttonen met on Monday with Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Nurdinjon Ismoilov, Deputy Chairperson of the Senate Svetlana Artikova, and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.

For the first time since 2002, a delegation from Uzbekistan participated in a meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in February 2017 in Vienna, and this was the first visit to Uzbekistan by a President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in more than a decade.

The visit to Uzbekistan provided an opportunity for the President to exchange views on a number of priority topics on the OSCE PA’s agenda including engagement with national minorities, regional co-operation and combating terrorism.

“I have followed with great interest the developments in Uzbekistan and my visit represents another step to consolidate our co-operation,” said Muttonen. “We look forward to hosting the Uzbek delegation at our upcoming meetings and thereby offer an opportunity to share explanations of their reform process, while also providing Uzbekistan with resources to replicate parliamentary best practices.”

President Muttonen highlighted the effective work of the OSCE’s full-time presence in the country, the Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, and encouraged the authorities to continue to make use of the office’s capacities to promote experience-sharing dialogue in support of OSCE commitments.

Today, Muttonen will participate in the opening of the OSCE’s annual Central Asia Regional Heads of Field Operations Meeting.

Muttonen is accompanied on the visit by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Chief of the Executive Office Andreas Baker, Presidential Adviser Loic Poulain, and Senior Adviser Lukas Mussi from the Austrian Parliament.