Dear participants and organisers of the conference!
It is our honour to host the 10th Asian Conference of the Valdai Club for the first time in Uzbekistan, bringing together leading political scientists, scientists and experts. I sincerely welcome you in our blessed and hospitable land!
It is symbolic that this conference is being held in Samarkand, a city where, for many centuries, the cultures of East and West yielded mutual enrichment, and where new scientific ideas and knowledge were generated.
Samarkand, which has made great contributions to the development of global civilisation, today continues to play an important role in strengthening international cooperation, now serving as a unique platform for an open and constructive dialogue on the pressing issues of the regional and global agenda.
In just the past two years, Samarkand has successfully hosted the Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia, the Asian Forum on Human Rights and a number of other high-level events of historical importance for the region, which allows us to talk about the formation of a special “Samarkand spirit” of cooperation.
I am sure that today's meeting will continue this good tradition and will be held in the spirit of openness and mutual understanding.
Each meeting of the Valdai Club, which is rightfully considered an authoritative and highly-demanded expert and analytical platform, is always a noticeable event that arouses great interest among specialists and the public around the world.
I think that today's discussion on the complex processes taking place on the Eurasian continent, including Central Asia, will also be fruitful and outline new facets of our cooperation in the future.
Central Asia plays an increasingly important role among the Eurasian community and in geopolitics in general. In a short period, through the joint efforts of the Central Asian countries, it was possible to create in the region a fundamentally new atmosphere of friendship, good neighbourliness and cooperation.
The level of political trust has significantly increased, which today allows us to effectively solve vital intraregional problems. Reasonable compromises were found on such issues as state borders, water use, transport and trade.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is committed to the further expansion of multilateral regional cooperation. Our main goal is to turn Central Asia into a stable and economically developed region, a space for peace and cooperation.
All this, of course, is of the utmost importance in the context of ensuring global security, and will contribute to the development of the entire Eurasian continent. It also opens up great opportunities for building up mutually beneficial and equal relations between the countries of the region with leading world partners, primarily with Russia.
The Russian Federation is a reliable strategic partner and ally of Uzbekistan. Our relations are based on historical bonds of friendship, and are developing intensively, offering practical advantages.
We in Uzbekistan are interested in making full use of the huge potential of Uzbek-Russian cooperation in trade, industrial cooperation, investment, innovation, energy, agriculture, and in the implementation of large trans-regional projects. We attach particular importance to building ties in the field of culture and education.
Today's meeting of the Valdai Club in Uzbekistan is a clear confirmation of the mutual desire of our countries to strengthen and develop a trusting dialogue and practical cooperation at all levels.
Dear conference participants!
The 10th Asian Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club in Samarkand will undoubtedly help strengthen existing direct contacts and establish new ones between the expert and analytical communities of our countries. I hope such meetings will become a regular occurrence.
I wish you luck in pursuing productive and successful work, and hope you are left with vivid and unforgettable impressions from the pearl of the East, the ancient, yet forever young, Samarkand.