U.S. and Uzbekistan to Broaden Military Cooperation

The U.S. and Uzbekistan have conducted consultations on security matters, during which the U.S. "confirmed its wish to expand defense and military cooperation with Uzbekistan. The U.S. State Department's press service said this in a statement on the outcome of the meeting of the U.S.-Uzbekistan Security Cooperation Council held on April 14 and 15.

The Uzbek leadership, it will be recalled, supported Washington in its military operation against Iraq.

The U.S. and Uzbekistan have also confirmed their wish to continue cooperation in combating international terrorism and extremism and other manifestations of organized crime.

Meanwhile, Washington and Tashkent stressed that their "approaches to the Iraq issue were harmonized" and that Uzbekistan "supports the U.S. stand on Iraq's disarmament and its postwar rehabilitation.

The U.S., for its part, supports Uzbekistan's striving for more active participation in international projects on post-conflict rehabilitation in Iraq, the statement says.

The Uzbek delegation confirmed the invitation extended by President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to U.S. President George Bush to visit Uzbekistan at a time appropriate for both sides.