FIDELITY TO THE TRADITION OF FRIENDSHIP
On April 14-15, the first state visit of the President of Kazakhstan Qassym-Jomart Toqayev to Uzbekistan took place. It coincided with the opening of the Year of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan, and these two events will serve to further strengthen bilateral relations between the states.
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The historical and cultural interaction between the Kazakh and Uzbek people has its roots in the depths of time, and it is backed by a shared past and rich spiritual heritage. We are united by a common language, religion, culture and traditions. This is a living thread that connects the past, present and future, a guarantee of eternal friendship.
The ties between our countries have always been stable, and in recent years they have become much more active. More than 2,350 km of borders do not divide us, but unite us.
At the state level, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan signed the Treaty of Eternal Friendship in October 1998 and the Strategic Partnership Treaty in June 2013. Thanks to the efforts of the First President of Kazakhstan, Yelbasy N.A. Nazarbayev and President of Uzbekistan Sh.M. Mirziyoyev, Nur-Sultan and Tashkent successfully develop trade and economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian cooperation and have a common vision on ways to address key international and regional issues.
It is well known that last year the Year of Uzbekistan was held in Kazakhstan, which was of special significance as a symbol of Kazakh-Uzbek friendship and good neighborliness. Within the framework of it, various events were held, contributing to the consolidation of brotherly ties between the two peoples. In November 2018, the first Forum of Interregional Cooperation between the two countries was held in Shymkent, promoting the development of mutually beneficial relations and the implementation of new promising projects in various fields.
In June last year, the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Committee on Inter-ethnic Relations and Friendly Relations under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan. Among the areas of interaction are joint projects, activities and research, development of public diplomacy, publication of scientific papers, exchange of experience and much more. Work is under way to implement the provisions of the memorandum in practical terms.
It is symbolic that the results of the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan were summed up in the course of the solemn action of the Assembly "With love, in Kazakhstan!
2019 was declared the Year of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan. The two heads of state took part in the opening ceremony. Qassym-Jomart Toqayev and Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed that such events are a symbol of brotherhood and spiritual kinship between the Kazakh and Uzbek people, sincere friendship and the inextricable proximity of the two countries' destinies.
Various events will be held this year to strengthen political, trade, economic, cultural and economic cooperation. Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstani and Uzbek ethno-cultural associations will take an active part in this work.
Following the results of the visit, the heads of state confirmed in their joint statement their intention to strengthen cooperation to preserve and develop the ethnic, linguistic and national culture of the peoples living on their territory. Create conditions for active participation in public and political, cultural and socio-economic life.
Assembly of People of Kazakhstan conducts comprehensive work in this direction. Through the tools of people's diplomacy, it is implementing measures to deepen intercultural ties between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as to improve the national models of ensuring public accord.
Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Kazakhs living in Uzbekistan play a significant role in maintaining friendship ties. In order to develop their culture and identity, national cultural centers, Kazakh theatres, folklore and pop ensembles operate, books and newspapers are published. The republican Kazakh cultural center with 30 regional and district branches promotes this work.
In Kazakhstan, Uzbeks are the third largest ethnic group after Kazakhs and Russians, accounting for about 3 per cent of the country's population. More than half a million Uzbeks live mainly in the southern regions. For example, in Turkestan Region - 87.2%, Zhambyl Region - 4.9%.
As early as 1989, the First Uzbek Cultural Centre was established in Turkestan Province, and in 1995 the republican Association of Ethnocultural Associations of Uzbeks "Dustlik" was established. Today, there are 35 Uzbek ethnic associations. Each of them has “makhallia” - public councils, councils of elders and mothers, youth wings, Sunday schools, as well as vocal, instrumental and choreographic ensembles.
Almost 92,000 pupils study in 12 Uzbek-teaching schools and 100 mixed schools. There are two ethnic theatres in Turkestan province. More than 10 newspapers and magazines with a total circulation of more than 50,000 copies are published.
Every year Uzbek ethno-cultural associations hold various linguistic, cultural, sports, charitable and other events. They also take an active part in the program "Rukhani zhangyru", the implementation of the program provisions of the article "Seven facets of the Great Steppe" by Yelbasy, preserving the cultural and genetic code of the nation, strengthening the civil identity and multiplying the age-old traditions.
The Uzbeks of Kazakhstan have contributed to the development of our country and achieved success in various fields. Among them are famous public figure Rosakul Khalmuradov, member of parliament Fakhriddin Karatayev, businessman Abduazim Rustambaev, singers Atkhambek Yuldashev and Alisher Karimov and many others.
In turn, Kazakhs of Uzbekistan Serikbay Sagatov and Agytay Adilov are national heroes, Tursinkhan Khudaibergenov and Tashpulat Babajanov are statesmen, Tileubay Amanov is a scientist, Zholdasbek Kuttimuratov is a recognized sculptor, and this list can be continued for a long time.
Kazakhs and Uzbeks are brotherly people of the Great Steppe. That's how history and geography have arranged it. We have one goal - to improve the welfare of citizens, to strengthen unity, spiritual community and centuries-old friendship.
So it always has been, so it is and so it will be. For this purpose, there is political will of the leadership of the two countries, inexhaustible and sincere desire of the brotherly people.
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Deputy Chairman of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan - Head of the Secretariat of APK of Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan