By Kamila Aliyeva
Russia and Uzbekistan are keen to further develop military cooperation between the two countries.
Russia and Uzbekistan should jointly resist the challenges of international terrorism in Central Asia, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, RIA Novosti reported.
"Uzbekistan is Russia's strategic partner in the Central Asian region. Our states successfully cooperate in many areas, including the security sphere. Today we must consolidate our efforts to confront challenges and threats, especially from international terrorism," he said at a meeting with the Uzbek Defense Minister, Major-General Abdusalom Azizov on October 12.
Shoigu noted that over the past year it has become possible to significantly improve the level of cooperation between the defense ministries of Russia and Uzbekistan. Now this level should be maintained and strengthened, the minister believes.
"First of all, this concerns joint measures to ensure military security, strengthen the combat potential of the armed forces and train military personnel," he said.
The experts of the two countries agreed on proposals for organizing work in this area. These proposals were included in the draft plan of bilateral cooperation between the Russian and Uzbek defense ministries for 2018.
"I suggest signing it today," Shoigu said.
He expressed the hope that "today's meeting will give an additional impetus to the development of cooperation in the field of security and will contribute to strengthening friendly relations between the armed forces of the two countries."
Shoigu expressed gratitude for the support and participation of the Uzbek representatives in the landmark events held by the Russian Defense Ministry.
"Uzbek delegations actively worked at the Sixth Moscow Conference on Security, at a conference on the military aspects of countering terrorism in Syria and at the International Military Technical Forum ‘Army 2017’," he said.
For the first time this year, Uzbek servicemen competed in the International Army Games.
“The Uzbek teams performed well, showed excellent training and won prizes in five competitions,” the minister noted and invited the Uzbek representatives to take part in the events set to be organized by Russian Defense Ministry in 2018.
Shoigu is on a state visit to Dushanbe where he attended a meeting of the Council of the CIS defense ministers scheduled for October 12. Military delegations from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Armenia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan came to Tajik capital in order to consider and discuss more than 20 issues of defense interaction sphere.
The sides were expected to sum up results and coordinate joint steps for the next year, including those devoted to celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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