April 4, 1998
  1. President Islam Karimov meets with French Minister of Foreign Affairs

  2. Ambassadors-Designate present their credentials

  3. Uzbek Embassy in the United States hosts seminar on Central Asian studies

  4. Government decrees

  5. President Islam Karimov meets special U.N. envoy to Afghanistan

  6. Comments on seminar for journalists

  7. Next session of the Uzbek Parliament scheduled for April 30

  8. President meets EBRD Executive Director

  President meets French Minister of Foreign Affairs
  President Islam Karimov met with Bertrand Dufuerk, Secretary General of the Ministry fo Foreign Affairs of France on April 1 in Tashkent. President Karimov noted that Uzbekistan and France enjoy successful relations not only in political and economic, but also in cultural spheres. M. Dufuerk handed in President Jacques Chirac's personal message to President Karimov. The French Secretary General also met with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov.
  Ambassadors-Designate present their credentials
  Ambassadors-Designate of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, Kim The Sam and of the Republic of Moldova Nikolae Osmokesku presented their credentials to President Islam Karimov on April 1.
  Uzbek Embassy in the U.S. hosts a seminar
  The Uzbek Embassy in the United States jointly with Harvard University held a conference entitled "Central Asian Studies at Harvard University and Regional Development". The main objective of the conference was to stimulate in the United States the analysis of the developments in Uzbekistan, assist centers and organizations working in this field, cooperate with Harvard in the preparation of appropriate experts. The interest of Harvard University in cooperation with Uzbekistan shows Uzbekistan's growing authority in the world. Uzbek Ambassador Sodiq Safaev made a speech about reforms in Uzbekistan. Speakers from Harvard University noted that soon Uzbekistan would be of a greater importance to the United States. The seminar was attended by leaders of "United Technologies", "Newmont Mining", "Texaco", "Cargill", "Enron", "IBM", "Phillip Morris", "Boeing", "Atlantic Gulf Associates", "Caterpillar", "Mobil", "Zurich-American Insurance" and members of the Department of States and heads of missions from Central Asia and the Caucasus.
  Government decrees
  President Islam Karimov appointed Lerik Ahmetov Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan on March 31, 1998.
In connection with the Iyd-al-Adha Qurban Hayit holiday, April 6, Monday, 1998 will be a day-off instead of April 4, Saturday, according to the Cabinet of Ministers decree.
  President meets special U.N. envoy to Afghanistan
  President Islam Karimov met with Ladhar Brakhimi, special U.N. Secretary-General Envoy to Afghanistan on March 31, 1998 in Tashkent. President Karimov welcomed Mr. Brakhimi's efforts in resolving the Afghan problem as well the efforts of the head of special U.N. mission in Afghanistan James Ngobi and the representative of the Organization of Islamic Conference Muhtar Lamani. Mr. Brakhimi told the president about his situation in Afghanistan and his mission. He also met with Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov.
  Comments on seminar for journalists
  The State-run Pravda Vostoka newspaper published an article entitled "Mass-Media: Awaiting Changes" on April 1 about the recent seminar for editors of newspapers and managers of TV and radio stations. It says that the number of newspapers in Uzbekistan rose from 200 in 1991 to 700 today, however, the circulation of many of them is very low. The circulation of some newspapers was even below three thousand. It is because the founders were not enough calculating. By the end of 1997 twenty publications were subsidized by the government. Deputy Prime Minister Alisher Azizkhodjaev criticized newspapers for poor quality and content and said that the quantity doesn't cause quality. There is no competition because the number if private newspapers, radio and TV station isn't high enough. President's Press-Secretary Azamat Ziyaev said that first of all journalists should free themselves from self-censorship. There were also made critical comments about the poor university-level of education of journalists. Always critical Uzbek-language nationalist "Hurriyat" newspaper complained about the work of press services at each ministry. "They are meant for cooperation with the press, however, they try to protect their bosses from the press. Instead of answering reporters's questions about the problems, they praise their place. "

  Parliament schedules next session for April 30
  The Uzbek Parliament - Oliy Majlis has decided to hold the eleventh session on April 30, 1998. The following projected laws will be under consideration: Drafts of the Laws on Land Code; On Agricultural Cooperative; On Farmership; On Family Code; On Guarantees and Measures of Protection for Foreign Investors; On Central Election Committee; On Freedom of Conciousness and Religious Organizations as well as on the Institution of a honorary title of "People's Master of Uzbekistan" and on the report of Human Rights Ombudsman of Uzbekistan for 1997.

  President meets EBRD Executive Director
  President Islam Karimov met with Wilhelm Jaggi, Executive Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and members of the EBRD Board of Directors on April 3. Mr. Jaggi noted that the EBRD considers Uzbekistan important partner in Central Asia. The cooperation between Uzbekistan and the bank takes place mostly in the development and industrial processing of mineral and raw resources, development of energy complex, small and medium-sized businesses, financial sector and tourism. Both sides discussed on the situation of current joint projects. The delegation also visited the Ministry of Macroeconomics and Statistics, the Oil and Gas Corporation and the Cabinet of Ministers.

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