On March 15-16, 2023 President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will take part in the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), which will be held in Ankara.
Uzbekistan became a full member of the OTS (formerly the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States – CCTS) in October 2019, and today the development of interaction with the Turkic states is one of the priorities of the country’s foreign policy. In 2023, Uzbekistan chairs this organization. The beginning of the chairmanship was marked by the Samarkand OTS summit, held under the slogan “New era of Turkic civilization: on the way to common development and prosperity” in November last year.
In a short period from the moment official Tashkent joined the family of Turkic states, the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, put forward more than 40 initiatives and proposals for the further development and strengthening of interaction with the member states of the organization, and by now most of them have been effectively implemented. Thus, at the initiative of Uzbekistan and aimed at strengthening the solidarity of peoples based on a common history, language, culture and traditions, 2023 was declared the “Year of the heyday of the Turkic civilization.”
The OTS summit held in November last year in Samarkand became one of the historical turning points in the transformation of this association and for the first time brought together the heads of states of this association in a qualitatively new format—within the framework of a full-fledged Organization of Turkic States.
The event launched the process of deeper integration of the Turkic countries and also became the beginning of the chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the OTS. As a result, a Joint Declaration was adopted and a number of multilateral documents were signed in the fields of economy, transport and institutionalization of the organization.
Under the chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the OTS in 2023, the effective implementation of the concept “Vision of the Turkic World—2040” and the five-year Strategy of the Organization of Turkic States for 2022–2026 adopted at the summit in Samarkand continues. In particular, priority attention was paid to solving the following tasks:
– strengthening the trade and economic basis of the organization, the transition to concrete actions for the effective use of the huge transport potential of the OTS;
– stimulating the development of the tourism industry, ICT and digital transformation by launching certain projects;
– strengthening cultural and humanitarian rapprochement, in particular, through the use of public diplomacy;
– strengthening cooperation in the field of youth support;
– increasing the efficiency of the organization by improving its institutional framework.
In general, during the period of our country’s chairmanship in the OTS, more than 30 events are planned. At the same time, it is important to note that among the member states of the OTS, Uzbekistan for the first time introduced the practice of developing a separate Concept and Action Plan during its presidency.
The spirit of solidarity between the allied member states of the OTS was strengthened by the tragic events that happened in February this year in Turkey. The results of the unprecedented and devastating earthquakes that occurred in the country shocked the entire Turkic world and all the friends of fraternal Turkey.
The OTS member countries were among the first to extend a helping hand to the Turkish people. In this difficult moment, the Turkic countries stood shoulder to shoulder, once again showing how deep and strong their blood ties are. Rescuers, doctors and volunteers were sent to the affected regions to work with the victims and those who lost loved ones. Through the efforts of teams that arrived from the countries of the Organization of Turkic States, hundreds of people were saved.
Humanitarian supplies with food, essentials and medicines were sent to Turkey from everywhere.
Uzbekistan participated in the aftermath of the natural disaster by sending a search and rescue team, seismologists and medical personnel to the region. More than 160 tons of humanitarian cargo were delivered to Turkey from Uzbekistan by special aircraft and land transport. A military field hospital of the Ministry of Defense of Uzbekistan was deployed in the city of Khatai. Literally, not a single citizen of our country remained indifferent to the misfortune of the fraternal people. In all major cities of the republic, collection points for humanitarian aid were set up for victims of the earthquake in Turkey.
At the upcoming summit, the heads of the member states will discuss further measures to rebuild the destroyed cities of Turkey, as well as the necessary joint steps to reduce the risk of natural disasters, prevent emergencies, and respond to emergencies in the OTS space.
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