April 11, 1998
  1. U.S. Congress delegation visits Uzbekistan

  2. Czech businessmen meet their Uzbek counterparts in Tashkent

  3. Uzbek-Finnish Commission helds its first session

  4. Iyd al Adha is marked nationwide

  5. High-level international visitors

  6. Samarkand packages tea locally

  7. International flights from other oblasts

  8. Uzbek mountaineers to reach Everest

  9. Major gas projects

  10. Japanese Embassy announces grants to Uzbek students

  11. Uzbekistan Tennis Team - one step away from World Group

  12. Uzbek boxing team is second for King's Cup in Thailand

  President Islam Karimov meets U.S. Congressmen
  A delegation of the United States Congressmen led by Representative Robert Livingston, the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations committee, visited Uzbekistan this week. On a five country visit of Central Asia, Turkey and Italy, the delegation included five Congressmen and an Assistant to Secretary of Defense. The first thing the delegation did upon its arrival in Uzbekistan was visiting Samarkand. Inspired by the natural beauty of the ancient city, on Thursday the delegation held a meeting with President Islam Karimov to discuss and review security and economic cooperation between the United States and Uzbekistan. The delegation led by Robert Livingston also visited the Oliy Majlis and met with Chairman Erkin Khalilov. Both sides exchanged opinions about the ways to improve further cooperation between the parliaments of both countries. This visit was another in a series of recent high level visits by the United States officials which demonstrated the United States' increasing interest and awareness of the role of Uzbekistan in achieving the foreign policy objectives of the United States in this region. Key among these objectives are continued stability, development of bilateral trade, advancement of economic and political reform, improvement of human rights records and support for democratic initiatives.
  Czech businessmen meets their Uzbek counterparts
  A delegation from the Government and business circles of the Czech republic led by Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Kunl was in Uzbekistan April 6 through 8. The delegation held a number of productive meetings with the Minister for Macroeconomics and Statistics Bahtiyor Khamidov and Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Elyor Ganiev. A number of inter-state documents signed earlier by Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic create favorable conditions to carry out joint investment projects. Officials from both sides expressed their readiness to assist and encourage Uzbek and Czech entrepreneurs to do business together. A document aimed at cooperation between entrepreneurs of both countries and signed at the Chamber of Entrepreneurs and Manufacturers in Tashkent during this visit will help accomplish these goals. Here in Tashkent Uzbek and Czech businessmen held a business seminar to exchange ideas as how to improve trade relations between the countries. Members from almost forty large Czech companies attended the seminar.
  Uzbek-Finnish Commission holds first session
  The Hotel Intercontinental hosted the first session of the Uzbek-Finnish commission for trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation. Trade and economic prospects between Uzbekistan and Finland within the framework of the European Union. Finland is the first EU country to have ratified the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between Uzbekistan and the European Union. Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ole Norrback, said that both countries can advance their trade relations based on the existing bilateral agreements on trade and economic cooperation, on mutual protection and encouragement of investments, on international transportation. Currently the trade turnover between the two states is 72 million dollars, almost ten times higher of the 1993 record. Uzbekistan exports inorganic chemical products and machines and imports paper, sugar, confectionery and shoes. Both sides are considering a project to build a cellulose factory in Uzbekistan. Last year the Uzbek-Finnish joint venture Medco Medical Oy invested 1.5 million dollars to equip a children's hospital. During the delegation's visit to the Ministry of Health, this joint venture's representative signed a new contract with the Ministry on supplying modern equipment to a maternity hospital in the town of Nurata and a rehabilitation center in Syrdarya oblast.
  Iyd al Adha is marked in Uzbekistan
  This week marked the end of pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims. Over 3,500 believers from Uzbekistan had a chance to fulfill haj. The government of Uzbekistan proclaimed two religious holidays Iyd al Fitr and Iyd al Adha national holidays. This week all the Muslims of Uzbekistan celebrated one such a holiday Iyd al Adha the holiday of offering. On this day Muslims offered up a sacrifice by cutting ship and other domestic animals as a symbolic solidarity to Prophet Abraham, who was asked by Allah to sacrifice his son Ishmael. The holiday began with morning prayer in all mosques and was attended more than usual. In Uzbekistan this is also a day of remembrance to pay homage to perished parents and close relatives. For newly married women this day is also like a test. They show their guests their skills of cooking and managing the house. Doors are open for everyone to see her and she greets guests with a special bow several times. President Islam Karimov received greetings messages from the leaders of a number of countries.
  High-level international visitors
  Prime Minister of Turkey Mesut Yilmaz will pay an official visit to Uzbekistan on April 12-14 on the invitation of President Islam Karimov.

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback will visit Uzbekistan April 14-17.

Prime Minister of Belgium, Jean-Luc Dehaene will pay an official visit to Uzbekistan on April 17-18. Uzbekistan and Belgium established diplomatic relations in 1992. Last year, the trade turnover between the two countries surpassed 150 million dollars. Four joint ventures with Belgian capitals operate in Uzbekistan.

Counsellor of the U.S. Department of Commerce Jan Calicki will pay a visit to Uzbekistan on April 20.

  Samarkand packages tea locally
  Samarkand is not only known for its ancient architecture, but also for its flavored tea. In addition to packaging locally-made tea, the tea packaging factory in Samarkand also imports tea from India, China, Georgia and Argentina. Until now the imported tea was relatively expensive. But now the factory brought and installed a new packaging equipment made in India, which allows the factory to import only unpackaged tea and do the packaging here. This helps reduce the tea's prime cost by 15 soums. It will also affect the overall production output. This year the target is 20,000 tons 5,000 tons more than last year.
  International flights from other oblasts
  Until recently all the international flights from Uzbekistan used to be carried out from Tashkent International Airport. Now it can be done from Bukhara, Samarkand, Urgench, Andijan and Ferghana. In addition to the already existing Andijan-Delhi flight, a new route to China will open soon. From the Ferghana airport, one can fly to Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Pakistan. The joint stock company "Ferghana Tourism" has its offices in Dubai and Delhi and rents hotels for tourists from Uzbekistan. Soon in the Indian capital the company will open a restaurant with Uzbek cuisine.
  Uzbek mountaineers to reach Everest
  Last Saturday an Uzbekistan Airways airplane took off for Delhi with Uzbek mountaineers on board. The group has a special hard mission to mount an Uzbek flag on top of the world's highest peak Everest, which is almost 9,000 meters-high. The group had been training for the mission since 1996. The American Transnational corporation "Interpro Business" financially assisted the group by allotting $160,000 for their needs. Another American "International Photo and Video News" company will broadcast the mission live. The mountaineers plan to finish the mission on May 25. Uzbekistan mountaineering team is an eight times Soviet and four-times C.I.S. champion.
  Major gas projects
  Despite the fact that prices for petroleum go up, Uzbekistan's oil and gas industry is developing. The construction of a Shurtan gas complex in Kashkadarya oblast is the country's major gas project. The end of the construction is due 2000. The plant will employ then 10,000 people. On Thursday the First Deputy Prime Minister Ismoil Jurabekov visited the site to give further instructions. Another valuable site is in Gazli, Bukhara oblast. Gas extracted in the Gazli deposit is supplied not only within Uzbekistan, but also to Kazakstan. This year the amalgamation plans to increase its annual output up to eight billion cubic meters. Soon Uzbek gas will be transported to Ukraine as well.
  Japanese Embassy announces grants
  Charge de Affaires of the Japanese Embassy in Tashkent, Hideomi Nakajima, gave announced a $7,200-grant to twelve students from Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies for their profound knowledge of the Japanese language. Mr. Nakajima said that the Embassy would hold language tests for undergraduate and graduate students and winners will go to japan for study.
  Uzbek Tennis team has hope for World Group
  The National Tennis Team of Uzbekistan is only one step away from the World Group in Davis Cup unofficial world championship. The World Group is represented by such world leaders as Russia, the United States, Sweden and the Czech Republic. This week Uzbekistan team was in Seoul to play against South Koreans. It was difficult to play against Koreans, especially in their court. But the situation for our team became even worse when Uzbekistan's number one player Oleg Ogorodov lost to Hyung Taik Lee ranked 450 in the world almost 300 positions lower than Ogorodov. That was a psychological shock for the Uzbek team. However the Uzbek athletes demonstrated a strong will and defeated the South Koreans in three matches. The result is 3:1 and the last singles match between our Vadim Kutsenko and Yung-Taik Lee was canceled. Now in order to advance to the World Group Uzbekistan team has to win Australians on September 25-27. Australians caused a "sensation" by loosing to the team of Zimbabwe 3:2, although they had Patrick Rafter, one of the world's top seeded players. Here is how the team of Uzbekistan played against South Koreans (Uzbekistan first):
Vadim Kutsenko Yong-il Yoon 4:6, 6:4, 6:4, 6:2
Oleg Ogorodov Hyung-Taik Lee 5:7, 2:6, 4:6
Ogorodov/Dmitri Tomashevich Dong-Hyun Kim/Hyung-Taik Lee 6:2, 4:6, 6:3, 7:6(2)
O. Ogorodov Yong-il Yoon 6:4, 6:7(4), 6:4, 7:6(2)
Vadim Kutsenko Yung-Taik Lee not played
  Uzbek boxers - second for King's Cup in Thailand
  In Bangkok the National Boxing Team of Uzbekistan consisting of mostly the Olympic athletes, won the second place for the King's Cup. Boxers from over twenty countries participated in the tournament. Boxers from Thailand won the Grand prize. Four Uzbek boxers became winners in their weight class.

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