December 13, 1997
  1. Parliament gets prepared for ninth session

  2. Uzbek parliamentary delegation visits Moscow

  3. Deputy Interior Minister gives a briefing

  4. Central Asian Prime Ministers meet

  5. Karakul products receive international recognition

  6. Uzbekistan gets prepared to celebrate its ancient scholar's birthday

  Parliament gets prepared for ninth session
  The ninth session of the nation's parliament will be held on December 25 in Tashkent. The discussion and adoption of a number of new laws are expected during the session. Deputies will consider Land Code, family code, laws on mass media, on the protection of fauna and a law on the central election committee. But most probably a great part of their time deputies will spend for the discussion and most likely adoption of the State Budget for 1998. Chairman of the Oliy Majlis Committee for budget, banking and fiscal affairs, Abdurafik Ahadov, says that the draft of a new budget will focus on allocating more money for the development of education, health care, agriculture and overseas trainings. Rural areas will have more hospitals and schools constructed in 1998. The session is going to be held at a new building of the Oliy Majlis located behind the Palace of Peoples's Friendship.
  Uzbek parliamentary delegation visits Moscow
  A delegation of the Uzbek Parliament led by its Chairman Erkin Khalilov was in Russia by invitation of the Russian Council of Federation. The delegation consisted of Oliy Majlis committee chairmen and some other law makers who met the Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Chairman of the Russian Council Egor Stroyev. Russia wants Uzbekistan to join the Interparliamentary Council of the CIS, but as the chairman of Oliy Majlis said "it is not good to force any intergrational processes." For now Uzbekistan will be only an observer. In a meeting with Mr. Chernomyrdin, both sides discussed the details of his visit to Uzbekistan at the end of December. During that meeting they will discuss details of another visits: President Kairmov's visit to Russia and Boris Yeltsin's visit to Uzbekistan next year.
  Deputy Interior Minister gives a briefing
  Deputy Minister of the Internal Affairs Kutbitdin Burkhonov held a briefing for local and foreign press Decmber 8. Major General Burkhonov said that the number of narcotics-related- crimes in the republic for the 11 past months of this year was almost 60 thousand. He described the Ministry's work in the control of drug traffic and trade as the vital one. This year 4.3 hectares of drug planted land was found and destroyed as compared to the last year's 4.7 hectares. The Ministry has formed dozens of special groups of law enforcers equipped with the latest technology. Besides growing narcotics drug-lords also use the country to transit narcotics from Pakistan and Afghanistan mostly to Russia, Belarus, Poland and further to Europe. This November customs officers detained a 20-foot container in Termez with 15 tons of acetic dioxide, the vital component to produce heroin. It was being transported from Afghanistan to South Korea. Another two containers of acetic dioxide were stopped on the border recently.
  Central Asian Prime Ministers meet
  Prime Ministers of three Central Asian countries gathered in Tashkent for a scheduled meeting of their Council December 8. The prime ministers of Kazakstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan discussed a proposal of their presidents to develop a common fule and energy industry, create international water treatment, mineral resource and telecommunications consortiums. They also tried to find ways out for the mutual development of some falling behind enterprizes in each state. Government leaders agreed to form three working groups by each country for working out a common concept of cooperation and integration taking into account the potential and needs of each republic. This concept should alos take care of the problems of drug control, the establishment of common securities market and the cooperation in tourism. Next meeting will take place in Bishkek next March.
  Karakul products receive international recognition
  One of the export resources of the nation is Karakul skin, which is called soft cotton. During the Soviet time anually a million pieces of it used to be taken out to skin processing enterprises of other Soviet republics at its lowest price. Today we've come to know the price for this soft gold. After setting up a joint venture with the Greek company of Omega, Bukhoro Karakul joint stock enterprise has already won a recognition in the markets of several countries manufacturing up to 60 desciptions of items like fur coats, hats, short fur coats and others. 30 millions soums is the company's annual profit from the sale of three thousand Karakul fur coats. Share holders get 10 million soums as a dividend. These fur coats have received several certificates and awards at fairs in Paris, Germany, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Wears from Karakul also received a gold medal at the first international fashion festival recently in Tashkent.
  Uzbekistan to celebrate ancient scholar's birthday
  Uzbekistan has made it tradition to hold jubilees either because we like holidays or because it is the time to celebrate them. We marked jubilees of Khiva, Bukhara, Amir Temur and next year we have one more reason to cheer the East's great scholar Ahmad Al-Farghoni will turn 1200. The Cabinet of Ministers has made such a decision and I like it not because Al-Farghoni was born in my hometown, but because we need to know our history. The scholar's name prompts us that he is originally from Ferghana and namely from Kuva. There he grew before leaving his town with caravans overseas for knowledge. The astronomer came to Baghdad and deepened his knowledge with the help of his teachers. It was him who in 841 predicted the Sun's eclipse. He also drew a map of heavenly bodies. In Egypt he spent the last days of his life, where he invented a device to measure water. The device has been preserved till our days. In 861 the scholar died. There isn't much known about the life of Al-Farghoni, but jubilees and holidays of these famous people will require our scholars to investigate and learn more about them.

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