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Uzbek Leader Dreams of Border-Free Region as Kyrgyzstan’s President Visits

It was all smiles and laughter during this week’s visit to Uzbekistan by Kyrgyzstan’s newly elected president, Soronbai Jeenbekov. 

Jeenbekov’s two-day trip to Tashkent, where he met with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on December 13, had been prefaced by months of notable breakthrough improvements in bilateral relations. 

At a joint address to the media, the two leaders gushed with mutual praise. Mirziyoyev was in especially good humor, laughing volubly throughout an official tete-a-tete broadcast live on national television.

Jeenbekov paid tribute his predecessor, Almazbek Atambayev, who stepped aside last month, having ended his six-year presidential term, for the role he played in negotiating a long-elusive agreement on properly delineating the two countries’ shared border.

"We managed to do this last year, something that has not been possible to resolve for the last quarter of a century,” Jeenbekov said.

The real galvanizer of the sudden bonhomie has come from Mirziyoyev, whose good neighbor foreign policy is in stark contrast with the spoiler strategy pursed by his late predecessor, Islam Karimov, who died last year.

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Uzbek Leader Dreams of Border-Free Region as Kyrgyzstan’s President Visits

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