March 7, 1998
  1. March 8 - International Women's Day

  2. Staffing changes at President's Office

  3. Results of U.S.-Uzbek Joint Commission

  4. Humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

  5. Japan's gives a $5.8 mln. grant to Uzbekistan

  6. Uzbekistan's chief pilot gets recognition

  7. World Bank and EBRD to give $45 million to Uzbekistan

  8. Pakistan to lease eight more planes from Uzbekistan

  9. Third metro line is under construction in Tashkent

  10. French cyclist arrives in Uzbekistan

  March 8 - International Women's Day
  March 8 was the International Women's Day. On the second of march U.S. President Bill Clinton proclaimed march 1998 "Women's History Month" to honor and remember throughout the year "the many voices and stories of courageous women who have made" the United States strong. On Friday President Islam Karimov sent his personal greetings to the women of Uzbekistan. He said that this year's holiday is special because 1998 was proclaimed the year of family in Uzbekistan, and therefore the strength and well-being of a family and sound upbringing of children fully depend on women. Because children are the greatest wealth of our country.
  Staffing changes at President's Office
  Some staffing changes have occurred in the presidential office this week. State Adviser to the president for Inter-State and Foreign Economic Relations Vladimir Norov has stepped down from his position, which is vacant for now. President Karimov gave him a diplomatic rank and appointed him Ambassador to Germany. The president's State Adviser for Security Affairs Bakhtiyor Ghulomov has been appointed first deputy to the chairman of the National Security Service. His position has been taken over by Usmon Khudaykulov, who used to be the first deputy to the General Procurator.
  Results of U.S.-Uzbek Joint Commission
  The U.S.-Uzbek joint commission met last week for the first time. Here are some important facts about this meeting and details of signed documents. The United States plans to budget nearly 19 million dollars in support of economic reform in Uzbekistan during fiscal year 1998. The U.S. side also expressed their support for Uzbekistan's plan for accession to the World Trade Organization. The Uzbek government was asked to revise its new tax code, establish a systematic and rational budget process, develop a competitive and transparent securities market and reform Uzbekistan's pension system. The U.S. and Uzbekistan have agreed to work closely with the other Central Asian states to develop a common water-management and energy-sharing policy. Uzbekistan voiced its hope that the United States would take steps under the bilateral trade agreement to rescind quotas and reduce the tariffs on cotton, cotton prints and other textile products from Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan indicated that it would abolish the multiple exchange rate system and the thirty percent hard currency surrender requirement. The Uzbek side also suggested that the creation of a private U.S.-Uzbek joint bank in Tashkent could help attract direct U.S. investments in the Uzbek economy. Both sides decided that the next formal session of the joint commission will be held in Tashkent in late 1998 or the first part of 1999.
  Humanitarian aid to Afghanistan
  The Government of Uzbekistan formed a special commission for rendering a humanitarian aid to the town of Tahar in Afghanistan, which was hit by a deadly earthquake very recently. This week almost 100 tons of aid was shipped to the area from the Uzbek Government. The aid contained flour, sugar, dry fruits, children wear, food, medicine, cloth, shoes and other goods. Members of the Surkhandarya oblast khokimiyat escorted the shipment and delivered them directly to the disaster area.
  Japan's gives a $5.8 mln. grant to Uzbekistan
  The Government of Japan has agreed to give Uzbekistan a 5.8 million dollars worth of grant to buy medical equipment for hospitals in several oblasts of the country. These are mainly maternity homes, children's hospitals, "mother and child" centers in Samarkand and Navoi oblasts. On Friday Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Alisher Azizkhodjaev and Charge de Affaires of the Japanese Embassy Mr. Nakajima signed exchange notes for the grant on behalf of their respective governments.
  Uzbekistan's chief pilot gets recognition
  Uzbekistan seems to be flying really high in the civil aviation. The American "Aviation Week and Space Technology" magazine published a list of people, who made a substantial contribution to the development of world aviation in 1997. General Manager of the Uzbekistan National Airways company Arslan Ruzmetov was listed number one for his skillful policy in the acquisition of many new planes for such a short period and for the company's flight safety record. In this regard the Airways Company is leading in the CIS. Last year the company operated flights to 58 destinations and carried over two million passengers and 45 thousand tons of freight.
  World Bank and EBRD to give $45 million to Uzbekistan
  The Uzbek government delegation met with members of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London for negotiations on the project for the improvement of the sanitary purification of Tashkent city. Both financial organizations agreed to give a total of 45 million-dollar credit for the project. The World Bank's contribution is 24 million dollars and the EBRD's is the rest.
  Pakistan to lease eight more planes from Uzbekistan
  The state aircraft factory in Tashkent also deserves a good award. Aircrafts assembled at this enterprise find their customers worldwide. In cooperation with their colleagues from Russia and Ukraine, the Chkalov Aircraft factory produces and assembles various brands of IL passenger and freight airplanes. Annually the enterprise makes almost 600 contracts for the supply of assembling parts from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakstan and other CIS countries. The quality speaks for itself. In last year's two airplane exhibitions in France and Malaysia, IL-114 and IL-76MF received high marks of experts, who certified of the planes' compliance with international standards. May be that was the reason why China expressed its intention to buy them and Pakistan is going to lease eight more ILs. The terms of a lease agreement are simple. A customer makes a 50% prepayment and the rest of the amount pays back on a lease agreement from two to seven years.
  Third metro line is under construction in Tashkent
  There are not so many metros in the post-Soviet area but Tashkent has a great deal to be proud of its metro - the only one in Central Asia. Currently there are two lines with 23 stations with a total length of 23 kilometers. Passenger transportation increases by every year. For example if in 1990 a daily service was rendered to 345, 000 people, now the number is 400,000. By now over three billion people have used the metro. Currently the third 16.6-kilometer-long line with thirteen stations is under construction. If built it will connect the center of the city to Yunusabad district and the South Train Station. Over two thousand engineers are involved in this construction. At present they are doing finishing works. The architectural design will be a mixture of national traditions, culture and history of the old and modern Uzbekistan. Construction materials are supplied from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The new line is narrower than the other two and rails will be located in the middle instead of two sides.
  French cyclist arrives in Uzbekistan
  French cyclist and construction designer Christophe Reimal, who began his world tour on march 3 of 1996, two years later arrived in Uzbekistan. On his tour he had already visited Italy, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and six more European and CIS countries. Unfortunately he said, he will not have a chance to watch World Cup this summer in France, but he would surely support his team while watching the world football championship on TV during his stay in Kyrgyzstan. The french cyclist also said that he would finish his world tour in Sydney in the year 2000 where he would attend the next summer Olympic games.

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