In his welcoming speech, the Head of State stressed the symbolism of the opening of the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan on the eve of the great Nauryz holiday, which coincided with the first working advisory meeting of the Heads of the Central Asian States.
Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that Astana and Tashkent successfully develop trade, economic and investment cooperation and have a common vision on ways to address key international and regional issues.
"The Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan reflects the genuinely fraternal character of the relations between our two peoples. They date back many centuries and are backed by the glorious common history and rich spiritual heritage of our ancestors", the President of Kazakhstan said.
The Head of State noted the special significance of the event not only as a symbol of the Kazakh-Uzbek friendship and good-neighborliness, but also an event that will be a significant contribution to strengthening partnership and cultural and civilizational rapprochement of the entire region.
"Central Asia is one of the oldest cradles of human civilization, with a rich history and an original cultural heritage. We have preserved common values, common worldview priorities and a system of worldview. Let this holiday serve to further consolidate our unity, spiritual community and centuries-old friendship", the President of Kazakhstan said.
At the end of his speech, the Head of the State awarded the Order of "Dostyk" (Friendship) of the I degree to President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for his significant contribution to the strengthening and development of bilateral political, economic and cultural relations between two countries.
In turn, Sh. Mirziyoyev thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the high appreciation of his work and expressed deep gratitude for the initiative and the decision to hold the year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan.
Sh. Mirziyoyev highlighted the consistent political reforms and economic reforms, far-sighted and deeply thought out global and regional initiatives of Kazakhstan, which are recognized all over the world.
"The successful chairmanship of the country in the UN Security Council, the historic meeting of the Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the holding of the World EXPO-2017, the first summit of the Islamic Cooperation Organization for Science and Technology and many other major international events became the clear illustration of the high international authority of Kazakhstan. Today, for the first time in many years, we have held an advisory meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States in Astana", the President of Uzbekistan stated.
Sh. Mirziyoyev also noted the role of Nursultan Nazarbayev in the integration cooperation of Central Asian countries in the name of peace, stability and prosperity throughout the region.
"Close ties between our regions, open communication and friendship between people and the intensification of cultural exchange have made it possible to achieve the main thing - to further bring our peoples closer together. I would like to emphasize that this became possible thanks to the tremendous efforts of the outstanding state and political figure of the world scale - President of Kazakhstan, respected Nursultan Nazarbayev", the President of Uzbekistan said.
The Head of Uzbekistan stressed the high importance of the development of relations in the cultural and humanitarian sphere between two countries.
"In this regard, I want to inform you that the decision of the President of Uzbekistan was taken to study and propaganda in our country of the legacy of the outstanding son of the Kazakh people, the thinker and humanist Abai Kunanbayev", Sh. Mirziyoyev said.
During the event the performance of the leading masters of arts of Uzbekistan took place, as well as a presentation of the exhibition of folk and applied art of the neighboring country was held.
Presidents of Kyrgyzstan S. Jeenbekov and Tajikistan E. Rahmon also took part in the opening ceremony of the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan.
Let us remind you that diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were established on November 23, 1992. The basic principles of bilateral relations are fixed in the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan of June 24, 1992.
Nowadays relations between two countries are developing both at the political and economic level, and in the sphere of culture and sport.
Photo by Bauyrzhan Zhuasbayev