The relationship between Uzbekistan and France is developing dynamically, which is characterized by two stages of development.

To the 29th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Dynamism of political and diplomatic relations

The relationship between Uzbekistan and France is developing dynamically, which is characterized by two stages of development. At the first stage (1992-2016), the foundation of modern Uzbek-French relations was created. France recognized the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan in January 1992 and two months later established diplomatic relations.

The state and official visits of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to France (1993 and 1996), the state visit of the President of the French Republic Francois Mitterrand to Uzbekistan (1994) took place. Karimov met with French President Jacques Chirac in June 1996 on the margins of the EU Heads of State Summit in Florence and in November 2002 at the NATO/EAPC Summit in Prague. Further dynamics of bilateral relations was given by the visits to Uzbekistan of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France L. Fabius in March 2013 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov to France in October 2012 and November 2014.

The second stage in Uzbek-French relations began in the second half of 2016. At this stage, there is an active open, pragmatic approach of Uzbekistan and France’s interest in deepening and expanding bilateral ties. The foreign policy activities of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev created a new political atmosphere, it was possible to achieve positive results in a number of areas of cooperation. First, political dialogue has intensified between Uzbekistan and France. In March 2017, meetings of the foreign ministers of the two countries were held in Paris and April of the same year in Tashkent. Following the talks, the foreign ministers signed the Program of Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and France for 2017-2018.

In his speech, in connection with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the French Republic, former President of France Francois Hollande said: “Today I am pleased to note that the established relations from the first days have been strengthened in all spheres of cooperation, both in the political, economic and cultural fields.” He also stressed that over the past years, France and Uzbekistan have been able to establish friendly relations: “… the high level of established partnership between our countries, based on trust and respect, will be constantly developed over the coming decades.”

In his message addressed to ex-President Francois Hollande, the President of Uzbekistan noted: “We especially value the fact that in January 1992 the French Republic was among the first to recognize the independence of Uzbekistan, and also firmly supported its independent development and sovereignty.” Shavkat Mirziyoyev confirmed “Uzbekistan’s commitment to further promoting productive and mutually beneficial cooperation with France on all issues of the bilateral and multilateral agenda, primarily in the political-diplomatic, cultural-humanitarian spheres, as well as specific programs and projects in the field of trade, investment and high technologies, tourism, introduction of advanced methods of corporate governance at our enterprises.” He also expressed confidence that “we will continue to work together to deepen Uzbek-French relations and strengthen their solid foundation based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and trust.”

France is the first country in Europe to which President Shavkat Mirziyoyev made a state visit

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid an official visit to France on October 8-9, 2018 at the invitation of the President of the French Republic Emmanuel MacronOn the Place of Honor in Paris, the ceremony of the official meeting of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held, which was the first in the last 22 years. During the talks, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Emmanuel Macron discussed issues of further strengthening Uzbek-French relations, exchanged views on issues of regional and international agenda of mutual interest.

First. The President of Uzbekistan noted that Uzbekistan attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with France as a reliable and long-term partner. He stressed that France is the first European country he visits on an official visit. He drew attention to the historical ties of friendship, mutual respect and trust that have connected the two countries since the reign of our great ancestor Sahibkiran Amir Temur and King Charles VI of France. a colleague, E. Macron’s book “Revolution” translated into Uzbek and published in Uzbekistan. The preface to this book belongs to the pen of the Uzbek leader.

Second. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed satisfaction with the meeting with the head of our state and noted that the current domestic and foreign policy of Uzbekistan and large-scale reforms initiated by Shavkat Mirziyoyev contribute not only to improving the well-being of the population, the country’s entry into the number of leading states, but also to ensuring peace and stable development in Central Asia.

Third. At the meeting, it was noted that the approaches of the two states to solving international and regional problems are close or coincide. The role of Uzbekistan in strengthening stability and security, developing mutually beneficial cooperation and good-neighborly relations in Central Asia was emphasized. The leaders of the countries noted the importance of developing new forms of regional and international cooperation, jointly countering the challenges and threats of our time. The Heads of State reiterated the need for Stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan as an important condition for peace and tranquility in the region, stressing that there is no alternative to direct political dialogue without any preconditions between all parties involved in the conflict.

Fourth. The attention of the discussed issues was the state and prospects for expanding trade, economic, investment, energy, technological, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. The parties positively assessed the activities of the Uzbek-French intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation and noted the importance of increasing the volume of mutual trade, the implementation of promising investment projects in various sectors of the economy, the volumes of which are not are fully commensurate with the available opportunities and potential.

Fifth. During the visit, more than 10 intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents were signed, as well as agreements and contracts worth over 3.4 billion euros. It was emphasized that following the results of the business forum organized in Paris by the relevant ministries and departments together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Movement of Entrepreneurs of France “MEDEF International”, agreements were reached on the implementation of promising projects based on advanced European experience, knowledge and technology.

Sixth. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the Louvre Museum. The head of Uzbekistan stressed that the samples of historical heritage stored in the museum are very valuable and dear to our people. He also noted the need to organize joint exhibitions, exhibits of museums of Uzbekistan and France, expand scientific cooperation between historians and archaeologists of the two countries.

Седьмое. Во время визита Президент Узбекистана Шавкат Мирзиёев встретился с председателем Сената Франции Жераром Ларше. Глава государства, приветствуя председателя Сената, подарил ему первый экземпляр конституции Франции на узбекском и французском языках, изданной в связи с ее 60-летием. Обсуждены вопросы развития межпарламентских связей по конкретным направлениям. В частности, стороны отметили роль и значение функционирующих в Сенате и Законодательной палате Олий Мажлиса Узбекистана межпарламентских групп по сотрудничеству с верхней и нижней палатами парламента Франции, а в Сенате Французской Республики межпарламентской группы «Франция – Центральная Азия», в Национальной Ассамблее – группа дружбы «Франция – Центральная Азия». Жерар Ларше поддержал идею узбекского лидера и выразил готовность французской стороны к развитию межпарламентских связей и приданию им системного характера в целях развития всестороннего и плодотворного партнерства и укрепления уз дружбы с Узбекистаном.

Eighth. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting with the heads of the largest French companies, such as Total, Total EREN, Orano, Fives Stein, Rungis SEMMARIS, Vinci, Suez, SADE, Idemia, Mercier, Thales Alenia Space and others.

“For a direct dialogue with foreign investors, it was decided to establish the Foreign Investors Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Its task is to develop proposals for the continuous improvement of the investment climate in Uzbekistan, taking into account the opinions of investors themselves. We invite you to actively participate in the work of the Council,” said Shavkat Mirziyoyev. In turn, French entrepreneurs stressed that the liberalization of the monetary system and the abolition of the visa created favorable opportunities for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Thus, the visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to France opened a new page, allowed to identify new areas of cooperation for the strategic future. The results of the talks of the heads of state showed the readiness of Uzbekistan and France to further expand and strengthen the long-term mutually beneficial partnership, filling it with new practical content.

Based on the results of the official visit, the President of Uzbekistan adopted a Resolution “On measures to further expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the French Republic”, which approved the “road map” of systematic, timely and high-quality implementation of the agreements reached during the visit.  .

Professor Emmanuel Dupuis,
President of the Institute for Forecast and Security in Europe
Сайфиддин Жураев,
профессор Ташкентского государственного университета востоковедения
Эльёр Махмудов,
доцент Ташкентского государственного университета востоковедения