|June 6-13, 1998|
On June 12 President issued a decree on the development of a State program of reforming the system of health care in Uzbekistan. The program will be aimed at improving the quality of healthcare; training of qualified physicians; improving living and working conditions of medical personnel; development of medicine as science and introducing the system medical insurance.
President meets with Japanese financiers
On June 11 President Islam Karimov met with the Chairman of the Japanese "Numora Securities, Co." Masashi Suzuki. President Karimov said he hoped that the visit of such an authoritative delegation to Uzbekistan will open new possibilities in the Uzbek-Japanese relations. The purpose of the visit of the delegation was a joint conduct of economic studies, development of ways to increase foreign investments in Uzbekistan and to improve privatization and to execute securities operations in the international securities market. Numora Securities also plans to handle the reconstruction and equipment procurement for the hydro electric stations in Tashkent and Navoi. The company will also deal with the construction of ring roads in some towns and electrofication of railroads.
World Bank approves Aral Sea grant
On June 11 the World Bank approved a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of US$12.2 equivalent for the Aral Sea Basin Program (Kazakstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), Water and Environmental Management Project to address the root causes of the overuse and degradation of the international waters of the Aral Sea Basin.
The four objectives of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP) are: |
(a) to stabilize the environment;
(b) to rehabilitate the disaster zone around the Aral Sea;
(c) to improve the management of international waters; and
(d) to build the capacity of the regional institutions.
The project concentrates on objectives (a) and (c) above and on ASBP's action plan for the period 1998 through 2002. The main operational objectives of this period are two-fold: to effectively reduce water consumption for irrigation by at least 15 percent by the end of 2002; and to lay the groundwork for greater investment in the water sector by donors and the public and private sectors. GEF assistance with the Aral Sea Basin Program began in 1994 with a Project Preparatory Assistance grant of US$500,000 which served as the initial phase of a regional water strategy. The five ASBP states formally requested GEF assistance for the Program in April 1996. The present project, with a GEF contribution of US$12.2 million equivalent is likely to be the single most important operation at the regional level for the next five years. Bank lending to the national Governments for ASBP concerns, such as irrigation, drainage, water supply and poverty alleviation, is associated with the project.
President visits Astana
On June 9th President Islam Karimov left for the city of Astana to take part in a
scheduled summit of heads of Turkic speaking states and the inauguration of the new
capital of Kazakstan - the city of Astana. Before leaving President Karimov gave an
interview to journalists in which he said in part: "We are meeting for the fifth time since the
Council of Turkic speaking states was established. We put forward our basic demands that
we are against such meetings taking on a political or military overtone. What is the reason? If
we, the Turkic speaking states want to consider political problems, then let us take our
neighbors - Tadjikistan and Iran, which are not Turkic speaking states. But from the historical
and cultural aspects they are countries that have a great place in the world civilization. Turan
always lived side by side with Iran. If we wish to unite the Turkic speaking states from the
political point of view, it will be difficult to safeguard peace and strengthen it. Therefore the
main goal of these countries should be to preserve friendship and jointly build our future. The
main way is economic cooperation. "The second issue is a humanitarian aspect. We have a
common language and religion and a similar way of thinking, which is a great factor for
bringing our nations together. We have great ancestors we take pride in. Our main task is to
revive our heritage. To do this we should study the history of our states by joint efforts, to
revive our history and values. "The other issue is that we need communications. We need
roads to deliver our goods. For instance, if we pass over the territory of Turkmenistan and
Azerbaidjan over the Caspian Sea, then we may reach the Black Sea and so on so forth. We
may go via Turkey to the world market. The importance of this Council is boundless in
restoring communications. But the main thing is that every nation takes pride in one's language
and culture. Therefore we should be together, preserving our roots as a great heritage to
future generations. From this point of view we shall unite and be close to each other." Then
the Uzbek President expressed satisfaction that the regular meeting of the heads of states will
also involve the presentation ceremony of the new capital of Kazakhstan - the city of Ostona,
and he said it was an honor to congratulate the Kazak nation on behalf of the people of
Seven tons of drugs destroyed
A total of 7.5 tons of narcotic drugs - heroin, opium and hashish - were destroyed in the furnaces of the Uzvtortsvetmetal plant of Tashkent on Friday. About 16 tons of narcotic drugs have been destroyed by Uzbekistan since 1994. The republic proposed a set of measures against the international spread of narcotics at a special session of the U.N. General Assembly, which passed a global program against the illicit drug trafficking. About 23 tons of drugs were confiscated by the Uzbek National Security Service (former KGB) in 1991-1996, and the number of criminal proceedings hardly reached a hundred.
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