Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan's Leaders Meet, Border Crossings Reopened
Uzbekistan’s president sent a signal in March when he decided to make his second official visit abroad since coming to power to neighboring Kazakhstan — only weeks after visiting another neighbor, Turkmenistan.
Only five weeks later, on April 29, in a remarkable development, Shavkat Mirziyoyev dropped in for yet another visit. For Mirziyoyev’s predecessor, Islam Karimov, to make trips abroad was unusual — to visit the same country twice in a month was beyond the realm of imagination.
This time, Mirziyoyev traveled to Saryagash, a little town just across the border and around half an hour’s drive away from the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.
Kazakhstan’s state-run English language newspaper Astana Times cited political analyst Yerlan Karin as saying the repeat visit was heartening.
“Such a frequency is a positive sign of the intensification of regional cooperation. Indeed, it is encouraging that regional leaders demonstrate serious intentions in building up bilateral contacts,” he was cited as writing on his Facebook account.
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