The Diplomatic Insight for May with special coverage on SCO Public Diplomacy Forum Uzbekistan has been published.

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Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto embarked on his maiden visit to China at the invitation of Wang Yi, State Councilor of China. Both leaders met in the city of Guangzhou.

They discussed pushing relations to new heights and building a closer community for a shared China-Pakistan future in the new significant prosperous era.

The visit coincides with celebrating the 71st anniversary of the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic iron-clad friendship.  Both sides discussed and built consensus on deepening strong economic engagement, trade, investment, and industrialization, CPEC cooperation in the ever-changing regional and global political and strategic milieu.

China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather strategic partnership that withstood the test based on close strategic communications between the countries.

Bilawal Bhutto, the incumbent foreign minister of Pakistan, has his own personal and political inclination due to his glorious historic family traditions tied with Pakistan’s long-term relations with China.

Before this visit, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had a telephonic conversation with Premier Li Keqiang.  These exchanges reflect that both sides are closer to cooperating and instantly communicate on challenges and issues.

The significance of this visit lies in the context of the meeting. Islamabad has a new government looking forward to closely working with China. CPEC is in the second most important phase, where the new initiatives and industrialization process is in the robust phase.

Changing American stance towards Pakistan, the rise of terrorism incidents in Pakistan with attacks on Chinese nationals, the Ukraine conflict in Eurasia, and security against traditional and non-traditional threats are rising with growing global friction among big powers.

After a session of the SCO Heads of State Council in September 2021, Uzbekistan assumed the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

This is the fourth time the country has assumed the organization’s chairmanship after 2004, 2010, and 2016. In 2022, under its chairmanship of the SCO, Uzbekistan has planned to host 80 international events, set up programs to improve regional trade and increase member nations’ security cooperation.

In May, the acting Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Norov, met with the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Zhang Ming in Tashkent, where the two parties noted the successful organization of nearly fifty events of SCO under Uzbekistan’s chairmanship and the high-level meetings scheduled for May-September.

Most important is the SCO Summit in September, scheduled to be held in Samarkand.   Since the organization’s beginning, Uzbekistan has worked to strengthen the diverse levels of relations and the alliance’s strategic capabilities.

SCO has a special place in Uzbekistan’s foreign policy as the country has played an important role in transforming the dialogue platform into a full-fledged Organisation.

Secondly, Uzbekistan has helped develop the organization’s basic principles and constituent documents and establish and develop its institutional foundations.

In the system of foreign policy priorities of the New Uzbekistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is more than ever in demand as a multilateral platform for implementing an open, pragmatic, broad-based, and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Uzbekistan has also proposed to add new regional issues to be discussed within the SCO framework, such as developing structures for the growth of technology and innovation.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening health-care cooperation will continue to be a key priority.

Uzbekistan has also proposed creating a plan for intraregional trade development that includes efforts to remove trade barriers, unify technical rules, and digitize customs operations.

Approval of an industrial cooperation project, creating an intergovernmental agreement on tourism cooperation, and a training course for infrastructure development across the SCO region are part of the agenda.

From 11-12th May, Uzbekistan hosted a two-day People’s Diplomacy Forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent. It was oriented on improving the development and humanitarian ties between countries and the significant role of public diplomacy in it.

It highlighted how civil societies, youth, and women could contribute to enhancing public diplomacy between states.

During its tenure, Uzbekistan intends to contribute meaningfully toward regional peace and stability and strengthen the SCO at best possible level.

The upcoming summit in Samarkand is an important landmark where Iran will be confirmed as a permanent member making Shanghai eight to nine.

The summit will also open new milestones in the evolution of the SCO.



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