Today, 12th of August 2022, marks the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Portuguese Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Throughout these three decades, our countries have developed and deepened their relations based on the friendship that unites our societies. We take great pride in the successful integration of over 1.000 Uzbeks in Portugal – the largest community from a Central Asian country, and whose contribution is of paramount importance on a regional and bilateral level.
Portugal and Uzbekistan view 2022 as a year of recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, when political, diplomatic and economic contacts return to normal. These restrictions did not halt the second round of political consultations, held on April 2021 (via videoconference), after a 12-year hiatus. Both sides are committed to organising a third round of political consultations, which will take place in the near future.
Direct contacts have carried on even during the pandemic, and the President of AICEP, Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency, visited Tashkent in May 2021, demonstrating our countries’ common interest in furthering economic cooperation. 2021 saw our trade volume surpass pre-pandemic numbers: a testament to our joint efforts.
Cooperation and friendship between Portugal and Uzbekistan are not limited to the bilateral level. Our two countries garner a vast history of mutual support in international organisations, with the United Nations at its core, including the exchange of support between Portugal’s candidacy to the UN Security Council (2027-2028 mandate) and Uzbekistan’s ongoing mandate at the Human Rights Council (2021-2023 mandate).
We also carry out an important work as Participating States at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, based on the principles of inclusiveness and consensus, whilst working towards stability, peace and democracy.
Both countries call for a global agenda based on these values, a stance that will continue to be defended, given the current Eurasian context.
The special occasion that we commemorate today represents not only a reason to celebrate, but a valuable moment to show our mutual commitment in broadening and deepening our bilateral agenda, in the political, economic, and cultural domains for the benefit of our peoples and the prosperity of our countries.