2017 will be an important year to the Republic of Uzbekistan. Following their 25th anniversary of independence in 2016 their first President, Islam Karimov passed away last September 2, 2016. The country had to face for the first time decisive elections – December 4, 2016 – for the upcoming years.
Brussels Express asked the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Brussels for an official reaction. In fact, today, Islam Karimov, the first Uzbekistan’s President, would have celebrated his 79th anniversary.
“We can call Islam Karimov the founder of the National Revival of Uzbekistan. He was the greatest politician of our time, farsighted and strategically minded leader with the state vision of the essence of extremely complex events in the world and the region, a special sense of personal responsibility for his country and the people, for the fate of every compatriot” stated Vladimir Norov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan in Belgium.
Following’s Karimov’s death, national elections took place on December 4, 2016. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, won with 88.6% according to a preliminary count. The election commission chairman, Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, said that the official turnout was 87.83%, with more than 17.9 million voters casting ballots. In a speech on his first day as acting president, Mr. Mirziyoyev said that Uzbekistan would continue the policy of not joining any international military alliances and not hosting any foreign military bases, along with not stationing its troops abroad.
“Islam Karimov made history as the first President of sovereign Uzbekistan” said Mr. Norov. “Under his leadership, independent Uzbekistan carried out a policy that provides for the basic principles enshrined in the UN Charter, international legal instruments and standards, dealing with emerging conflicts not by force, but only by peaceful and political means, and unconditional cessation of continuing today the wars of the world and bloodshed in various regions” he concluded.
Ambassador underlined the establishment of free zone of nuclear weapons in Central Asia as one of Karimov’s key legacy. “Thanks to the efforts of the First President, after the signing of the agreement in September 2006 in Semipalatinsk, Central Asia has become the first nuclear-free zone in the northern hemisphere”.