These days, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Jean-Marc Hérault is on an official visit to Uzbekistan. In his interview to the Information Agency "Jahon" the head of the Foreign Ministry of the Fifth Republic noted the following:
- I am very happy to be in Uzbekistan. This is my first visit to your country which allowed me to learn more about the land that has a deep and rich history, culture.
Most recently in Paris, I met with the Foreign Ministers of the countries of Central Asia on the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and these countries, and then we also had a talks with the Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.
France is committed to a policy of respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uzbekistan. A fruitful cooperation has already been established between our countries, and we want to strengthen it.
I believe that your republic is developing on the right path today. Large-scale reforms are carried out in such areas as state building and management, judicial and legal field, economics, social support, security and stability and other areas. We are ready to assist the ongoing reforms, based on consideration of interests and respect for Uzbekistan.
Today in your republic there are already such organizations as the French Development Agency and the French Alliance. Such cooperation opens great prospects for the implementation of joint projects in the energy and agricultural spheres, cultural and humanitarian direction, and can also facilitate Uzbekistan's access to the financial instruments of the European Union. We are pleased that there is a growing interest in learning the French language. More than 300 thousand inhabitants of Uzbekistan know or study this language. In addition, Uzbekistan is the only country in Central Asia where the French school operates. All this serves as a good basis for building up our relations, and within the framework of important meetings taken place in Tashkent during the current visit, and we noted with satisfaction the successes in these areas.
Another urgent topic of the talks was security issues and the fight against terrorism and extremism. In this area, France is also ready for cooperation with Uzbekistan. All over the world today, radical groups pose a big threat which train extremists directing them to commit terrorist acts in the future, including in European countries. Therefore, a consolidated approach to counteracting these challenges is needed. We see how much effort is being made in Uzbekistan to ensure peace and stability in the region, we understand the importance and necessity of intensifying the cooperation and its activation in this direction.
I would also like to say that the program of the visit includes a visit to the historical complex of Hazrati Imam in Tashkent which I think, symbolizes an open and tolerant Islam - something that we try to preserve and support together.
Interviewed by Nargis Saidaliyeva,
Jahon Information Agency