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INFORMATION DIGEST No. 152

August 4, 2017

POLITICS
Comprehensive preparation for the new academic year - an actual task

On August 2, 2017, under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a videoconference dedicated to issues of introduction of 11-year secondary education by ensuring mutual integration between general educational schools and secondary specialized, professional educational institutions, cardinal reforming of the secondary specialized and professional education system was held.

The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister and his deputies, heads of relevant ministries and departments, at places – chairman of the Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokims of the regions and the city of Tashkent, heads of the territorial directorates of public education and secondary specialized, professional education, rectors of higher educational institutions, teachers and pedagogues, public representatives.

Many proposals are introduced on establishment of 10-11-year educational system in general educational schools at the meetings of the head of our state with people, public representatives in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the regions and the city of Tashkent, in the appeals from parents to the People’s receptions and the Virtual reception of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The working group, which consisted of representatives of the Ministry of public education, the Ministry of higher and secondary special education, the Center for secondary special, professional education, rectors of higher educational institutions, the general public, studied wishes of parents, students and the general public about the continuation of education from 2017-2018 of the 9th grade students in the 10th grade of general educational schools, academic lyceums or professional colleges.

At the same time, 352 thousand out of 466 thousand graduates of the 9th grade of general educational schools expressed a desire to continue their studies in the 10th grade, and 114 thousand in academic lyceums and professional colleges.

At the meeting, the need to take into account and realize the wishes of students and their parents, to prevent difficulties and obstacles in continuing education was noted. It was emphasized that strict measures would be taken if such incidents were committed with regard to khokims, heads of departments of public education and educational institutions of relevant districts.

Heads of the Center of secondary special, professional education and the Ministry of public education were instructed, together with local khokimiyats, to ensure, until August 20, the continuation of each student’s education in a particular school, lyceum or professional college.

At the videoconference, based on the wishes of students and parents, the issue of introducing a new system of professional education in our country – industrial training complexes was discussed. Responsible departments and officials have been identified on equipping the industrial training complexes with training equipment, necessary equipment for mastering professional skills before the start of the new academic year.

Activists, aksakals of makhallas, preventive inspectors, primary organizations of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, khokims of districts, cities are given corresponding instructions on raising the quality of teaching and educational process in general educational schools, studying and critically discussing attendance of students on the Day of prevention that is held on Thursdays.

Before the beginning of the academic year, industrial training complexes will be organized, where nearby schools will be attached on the basis of training workshops of professional colleges. In addition, establishment of industrial training complexes at the own bases of schools located far from professional colleges is defined.

Students will study more than 50 professions, such as a locksmith, seamstress, driver, cook, hairdresser, embroiderer, potter, confectioner, baker, carpenter, plasterer, painter and others in the industrial training complexes. Students who have mastered the professional skills in these industrial training complexes will receive a state-recognized document along with a certificate of 11-year education that gives the right to work.

At the meeting, particular attention was paid to issues of social protection of each teacher of professional colleges, whose training hours were shortened, providing them with work by their specialty before the start of the new academic year. Responsible officials are given corresponding instructions.

Issues of providing students of the 10th grades of general educational schools with modern textbooks developed according to new curricula and programs from 2017-2018 were considered. Relevant organizations have been assigned to conduct organized activity on timely and qualitative publication of textbooks.

Issues related to organization of 10-11 grades in specialized educational institutions for gifted children, expansion of the network of non-governmental educational institutions were also discussed, appropriate decisions were made.

Heads of responsible ministries and departments are given corresponding instructions on qualitative preparation of educational institutions for the new academic year, the autumn-winter season, as well as completion of construction and repair works, equipping objects included in the Investment program by August 20.
(Source: UzA)

On August 3, 2017, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting with representatives of the country’s creative intelligentsia

On August 3, 2017, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting with representatives of the country’s creative intelligentsia. At the meeting, a detailed exchange of views took place on actual issues of development of the national culture, literature and art, ways of addressing them, important tasks facing creative unions and state organizations in this direction.

The meeting, which was held in the spirit of sincere and open dialogue, was attended by the heads of chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Prime Minister, state advisers to the President, heads of complexes of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministries and departments, large companies and economic associations, banks, creative unions, leading mass media, cultural institutions, theaters and museums, prominent people in literature, art and culture, journalists. The meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokims of the regions and the city of Tashkent, heads of the territorial branches of the Ministry of culture, creative unions, cultural institutions at places, television and radio channels, newspapers and creative intelligentsia through a videoconference.

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a speech at the meeting.

In our country, along with all spheres and industries, great attention is paid to the development of culture, art and literature, and the mass media. In recent years, much work has been especially implemented on development of this sphere at a new stage.

A number of major projects are being implemented in order to revive and study the rich cultural heritage of our people. In particular, the Center of Islamic culture in Uzbekistan in our capital, and the International scientific-research center named after Imam Bukhari in Samarkand are being created. The activity of the Center for the study of cultural wealth of Uzbekistan abroad, the Center of the new history of Uzbekistan is being organized. A lot of work is being done on improving the culture of reading, improving the spheres of culture and art, organizing creative schools and centers in the regions, which will be named after our great people in literature and art.

As a logical continuation of this work, a number of measures are also being implemented on promoting identification of talent and abilities of young talents. For example, since 2010, the “Ijod” (“Creativity”) foundation under the Union of writers has spent 1 billion 300 million sums on publication of “My first book” series, a total of 1 million 220 thousand copies of books of young poets and writers of 73 titles that are delivered free of charge to all educational institutions of our country, were published (currency rates of CB RU from 04.08.2017, 1$= 4098.37 soums).

In the report of the head of our state, an objective and critical assessment of some negative phenomena, their impact on the life of society were also given along with the process of development of our culture and art, positive trends in this area, urgent problems that are still waiting to be solved and ways of solving them, were emphasized. Activities of creative unions, the Ministry of culture, unions and organizations that are part of its structure were deeply analyzed. Important and relevant views were expressed on the role and tasks of the creative intelligentsia, its impact on the life of society, and the process of reforms.

The President of our country paid special attention to the importance of merits of creative intelligentsia on increasing the spirituality of our people, noted that at the present stage of our development even greater activity, promotion and implementation of new creative ideas and initiatives are required from artists along with representatives of all spheres.

It was criticized that in this direction, first of all, the role and influence of creative unions and state departments that should coordinate creative process, fully support artists are not felt sufficiently. Creative organizations are not keeping pace with the requirements of the time. Campaigning, showing-off, inertia and indifference are being observed in their activities.

Particularly each person, who is thinking of the future of our national culture, is concerned about the commercialization of the sphere of culture, the coming to the fore of personal interests and vigorous sale of works that are superficial from the ideological and artistic point of view, the lack of a principled assessment of such circumstances by creative unions, comprehensively grounded practical proposals on their elimination.

In this regard, transformation of literature and art, culture, mass media, spirituality and enlightenment into a business will not be allowed in Uzbekistan, noted Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

It was regretfully emphasized that there is no critical spirit in our cultural life, artistic councils are not acting properly, principled and qualified evaluation of new works, films and plays, exhibitions and concert programs, publication of objective and fair reviews in print are becoming increasingly rare phenomenon.

Another problem is that interaction between creative unions is not enough. Creative interrelationship between the Academy of arts, the unions of composers, writers, journalists, filmmakers and other organizations is practically ceased. The presence of a multitude of issues in activities of these structures, which are subject to joint decision, first of all, such actual problems as improvement of the existing normative-legal framework on activities in the field of literature and art, culture, mass media, strengthening the material and technical base, worthy material and moral incentives for hard work of creative workers, radical revision and reformation of the system of training personnel remain outside the scope of creative unions.

At present, there are 1 513 mass media and 122 publishing houses in our country. The head of our state, speaking about the fact that these quantitative changes have not yet switched to qualitative ones, paid special attention to the fact that not quantity but quality and efficiency are important for us in this direction.

At the meeting, tasks on creating images of our contemporaries – the real heroes of our time – and on this basis – the artistic chronicle of our Motherland were also discussed.

Educating the younger generation, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of our activities in this direction were discussed in detail.

At present, large funds are allocated from the State budget every year for the development of cinematography. Only this year the National agency “Uzbekkino” was allocated 12 billion 400 million sums. More than 81 billion sums will be allocated from the State budget for supporting activities of 37 theaters of our country. Undoubtedly, our people have the right to expect a decent result in response to such attention and care.

However, unfortunately, activities are conducted without deep awareness of this truth in many creative collectives. The artistic level of most films and plays is low. They do not reflect the social problems that worry and disturb people.

It is impossible to consider activities of the Ministry of culture as satisfactory, which is called to conduct a unified state policy in the field of culture.
At the present time, the work on providing institutions of culture and art with personnel with higher education, creation of a state catalog of national funds in museums is also not at the required level.

Another important issue: development of the most popular type of musical art – pop music – remains without due attention of the ministry. Exactness and responsibility, a sense of belonging to social process is not noticeable in the activity of the majority of creative workers in this sphere.

The President of our country proposed to organize the club of “People’s artists of Uzbekistan” under the state institution “Uzbekconcert” in order to conduct effective work with young artists, develop traditions of “Master-student”.

At the meeting, the need for a compact and meaningful conduction of weddings and family celebrations, avoidance of excessive waste, conduction of a broad public awareness campaign by representatives of cultural public among the population in this direction, importance of that they should serve as an example for others was noted.

A number of draft resolutions of the President are being prepared for further development of literature, art and culture. In particular, the draft resolution on organization of “Ilkhom” public fund is being prepared, which will serve to enhance the role of creative unions of composers, artists, theatrical artists and journalists in our life, strengthen the material and technical base of the sphere, create decent working and living conditions for creative people. The state will allocate 20 billion sums for the purposes of financial support of this fund, and until 2022 relevant structures will be exempted from all taxes and mandatory payments.

It was noted that a new building for the Union of writers is being built, where “Ijod” public foundation, “Shark yulduzi”, “Zvezda vostoka” (“Star of the East”), “Yoshlik” (“Youth”) magazines will also be located. Here it is also planned to build two multi-storey houses for members of the Union of writers on the basis of a preferential mortgage loan, modern creative houses-cottages in Zaamin and Parkent districts.

At the meeting, proposals were also made on reestablishment of activities of the Higher literary courses at the National university of Uzbekistan.
It was decided to restore another good tradition – organization of seminars of young talented creative workers of Uzbekistan for talented youth, starting activities in the spheres of literature, theater and cinema, music and visual arts, journalism.

Draft resolutions of the President of our country are being developed on further improvement of activities of the Creative union of journalists of Uzbekistan, the Academy of arts, the Union of composers, as well as on development of national cinematography and activities of the State conservatory of Uzbekistan.

At the meeting, it was proposed to provide the Ministry of culture with a new building, radically revise activities of higher educational institutions, lyceums and colleges in direction of culture and art, schools of music and art, appoint them as the artistic director or director of famous people in art and culture.

Proposals and initiatives of large companies, production and economic associations, banks on sponsorship of creative organizations were supported.

Opinions and practical suggestions were made on extending the term of additional privileges and preferences established for the creative sectors for another five years, in particular the mass media, on increasing the fee paid to creators and mass media employees, bringing to the required level of the work on protection of copyrights, solution of the housing issue for creative intelligentsia, propagandists of spirituality, workers of the mass media, revision of the current order of payment of a fee to creative workers at the retirement age, establishment of a modern paper industry in our country.

The President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev, speaking about the significance, effectiveness of conducted open and sincere dialogue, firmly emphasized that we have a great history worthy of admiration, admirable great ancestors, admirable countless wealth. And I am convinced – we will have a great future, great literature and art worthy of admiration.

Chairman of the Creative union of journalists of Uzbekistan S. Khakimov, academicians O. Salimov, R. Ubaydullayeva, chairman of the Academy of arts A. Nuriddinov, people’s poet of Uzbekistan H.Khudoyberdiyeva, honored artist of the Republic of Uzbekistan A. Slonim, professor of the State conservatory of Uzbekistan S. Gafurova, people’s artist of Uzbekistan O. Nazarbekov, honored worker of culture of Uzbekistan, film director H. Nasimov, chairman of the Union of composers R. Abdullayev, honored artist of Uzbekistan J. Piyazov and others expressed their gratitude to the head of our state for the high attention to culture, literature and art, sincere dialogue, noted that the goals and tasks, created conditions and opportunities inspire artists to create new highly artistic works, call upon all creative organizations to reconsider their activities.
(Source: UzA)

INVESTMENTS
A new cement plant with a capacity of 1.2 million tons of Portland cement per year will be launched in Buloqboshi district of Andijan region in September 2019.

The President of Uzbekistan has approved the basic technical and economic parameters of the investment project. The total cost of the new production facility is estimated at $203.9 million. The facility will be built by the joint Uzbek-Chinese Enterprise Shangfeng-Bridge of Friendship, which incorporates two Chinese companies Zhejiang Shangfeng Building Materials Co. Ltd and Tunli, as well as the local investor Juydam Ta’mir Qurilish.

The Chinese partners will attract a total of over $136 million of direct foreign investments and loans to the project. The funds will be channeled to the procurement of materiel, equipment, machines and mechanisms, components and parts of tooling, instruments, vehicles, spare parts, tools, software, development of technical and project documentation.

The construction and assembly works will be financed by the $14.9 million loan of Uzpromstroybank, and all external infrastructures, including electric and gas networks, roads, railways and water supply system will be financed through the joint venture’s funds and $52.7 million of additionally channeled foreign investments.

Sultanobod deposit (clay), the Shirmonbuloq III deposit (limestone) in Andijan region and the Qamishboshi I deposit (gypsum) in Ferghana region will be the feedstock base for the plant.

The head of state provided the joint venture with a wide range of benefits and preferences. In particular, the joint venture is released from corporate income tax, tax for the improvement and development of social infrastructure, property tax for legal entities, mandatory contributions to the Republican Road Fund for five years after the launch of production.

In addition, the company was released by October 1, 2019, from customs payments for imported materials, machinery and equipment, specialized vehicles, spare parts, components, tools and technological equipment, fuel, lubricant and metal products, as well as from the payment of the added tax for works and services performed by non-residents.

There are five large cement plants in the country today: Kyzylkumcement, Akhangarancement, Kuvasaycement, Bekabadcement, Jizzakh Cement Plant, as well as a number of small enterprises. Their total capacity exceeds nine million tons of products per year.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

REFORMS
Uzbekistan: Keeping Abreast with the Times

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s speech at a video conference on July 12 in the Oliy Majlis, which critically analyzed the performance of representative authorities and political parties, and set priorities to further streamline their work, caused a broad response in the society.

What was the response of people's representatives, leaders and activists of political parties, public and state figures to criticism? Our public forum offers a review.

What did the head of state say?

It makes sense to recall the main points of the report first. The President pointed out to the fact that political parties had not achieved the full and effective fulfillment of the promises they gave to the electorate and their electoral programs, and still fail to firmly establish themselves in the socio-political life of the country.

This is an unprecedented negative assessment of the country's leader, who substantiated it by the example of all the four parties in Uzbekistan.

Thus, the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDPU), which positions itself as a defender of the interests of pensioners and low-income strata of the population, lacks the deeply thought-out initiatives to raise their living standards and strengthen their social activity.

Milliy Tiklanish Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, which sets a mission to revive and enrich national values, does not show any progress in these issues, either in improvement of legislation, or monitoring the implementation of legal acts in this field.

Adolat Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, which vows the provision of social justice, the protection of people's interests in science, education and healthcare, in fact, shows no remarkable initiatives to uphold the rule of law and justice in society, improve medical care, education, and provide the population with medicines.

UzLiDeP, which is seen as the leading political force in our country, also does not meet the requirements of the electorate, its work to support entrepreneurs and farmers is completely insufficient.

Any political party can be considered a political force only when it keeps abreast of the times, and is capable to meet the current requirements, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted. He also noted that the parties do not implement effective parliamentary and deputy control over the activities of ministries and departments through their factions and groups in representative authorities.

The meeting critically analyzed the dialogue of political parties with the people, the implementation of the Actions Strategy, advocacy, and awareness raising activities, cooperation with the media. Most of the appeals of the people to the parties and their advice on the ground are not considered, but redirected to the President’s Virtual Reception. Their work with young people is unsatisfactory, particularly with unemployed youth and with those who are not engaged in study or any other activities.

The President touched upon the activities of the Ecology Movement of Uzbekistan. He noted that the EMU does not pay constant attention to the supply of potable water to the population, especially in rural areas, collection, processing and recycling household waste. The President put forward a proposal that representatives of the Eco-movement should work at all large enterprises of our country.

Time to Wake Up for MPs and Parties

It is worth recognizing that the people's representatives and representatives of political parties responded with sufficient self-criticism. In their comments, they talked about the need to change the working methods and establish a dialogue with the population and the electorate, get rid of the former state of slumber, abandoning eloquent slogans, and gain the trust of the people and voters by actions.

In particular, the head of the UzLiDeP faction in the lower house of parliament Sodikjon Turdiyev frankly admitted that it is absolutely inappropriate to work in the former pace in the conditions of the current reality, that there is a need to be proactive and work with full dedication. It is important to cultivate entrepreneurial skills in each family, replace the fields with low cotton crops with high-yield crops that can be exported. That would undoubtedly contribute to the improvement of people’s wellbeing and export capacity of Uzbekistan. "We had insufficient initiative to come up with effective solutions in this area. We have made conclusions from critical remarks, and defined specific long-term objectives," the UzLiDeP leader emphasized.

“The President's report provides an objective assessment of our activities. On the same day after the meeting, we received many phone calls. I myself felt how MPs ‘woke up’," said Sarvar Otamuratov, head of the Milliy Tiklanish faction. "It's been nine years since the foundation of our party. And we must admit that we still do not have a clear position on most of the pressing issues. Much to our regret, our party lags behind the goals of the Action Strategy. For example, we failed to make changes to our program. So far, we cannot show our progress in advocacy of national culture, spirituality and enlightenment. There is a need to pay more attention to unengaged youth. Imam-hatibs hold meetings and conversations with those who mistakenly joined the religious movements.

Internal affairs agencies are involved in this work as well, while the party, unfortunately, lags behind. It is up to us to bring to the consciousness of the younger generation the relevance of studying the heritage of great ancestors, which is in tune with the goals and mission of the party. Therefore, we will intensify the advocacy of this idea.”

“Criticism towards political parties is fair. Indeed, we worked on paper in many ways. Being engaged in lawmaking, we did not ensure if the adopted laws are implemented on the ground, whether they protect the interests of the people and address the existing problems," emphasized the Head of the PDPU faction Hotamjon Ketmonov. “We will visit social infrastructure facilities more often, particularly hospitals and Mehribonlik mercy homes, delve deeper into the situation, work on elimination of shortcomings. While doing that, we will define clear tasks on introducing changes and amendments to the relevant laws, further development of the system, and expansion of the established benefits.”

He also noted that once PDPU finalizes a list of people with disabilities, the party will develop targeted projects to involve those who could actively participate in public life. It intends to seriously embark on one of the important areas, that is, elimination of dependency among low-income groups of the population. The issues of development of a system of inclusive education, including provision of disabled children with specialized literature and manuals, and further expansion of their opportunities in higher educational institutions will be in the spotlight.

“The tasks outlined in the President's report are part of the Action Strategy," said Narimon Umarov, Head of the Adolat SDPU faction. "We consider them as strategic goals for ten, twenty years for our party and for society as a whole. We must admit that we are provided with ample opportunities. A member of our faction was appointed as Minister of Health, motivating us to implement the party's objectives in this area. From now on, we will closely cooperate with the Ministry, strengthen the dialogue with the population and find solutions to existing problems. The staff issue is relevant for all sectors.

We are not satisfied with our work in this direction, so we need to review the ranks of party workers and introduce criteria for their ethics.”

On Scientific Basis

As part of the President’s initiative at the videoconference meeting in the Legislative Chamber, the Parliament is establishing the Institute of Study of Legislation Problems. The MP Kahramon Ergashev tells about it in detail:

“The new structure will conduct scientific and practical, research, information and analytical activities, assist in drafting laws.

The Actions Strategy sets the objective to enhance the role and place of Parliament in the system of state authorities: it is called to provide an effective legal basis for all the scheduled reforms.

In the Year of Dialogue with the People and of Human Interests, direct communication with rural residents has become an important part of the control and analytical and legislative work of members of the Legislative Chamber and Senate of the Oliy Majlis. As of 2017, members of the lower chamber have been visiting regions of country every month for 10-12 days, assessing the real situation on the ground.

Such a mechanism is unconditionally important in the legislative process. On the one hand, MPs personally see the practical implementation of the adopted laws, problems and omissions, which are taken into account in further work. For example, Article 223 of the Administrative Liability Code established a penalty for violation of the passport system rules. The size of the fine was high enough for low-income citizens, and they did not hurry to improve the situation. The MPs carefully studied this issue during their trips to the districts, and initiated amendments to the legislation to reduce the size of the fine, clarifying its lower limit.

Having revealed a problem, the MPs have to carry out a technical study of the draft laws, study foreign experience. However, not all of them perfectly know the rules of legal technology. There are only 26% of legal experts among them. Therefore, the foundation of the Institute of Study of Legislation Problems under the Oliy Majlis promises to be an effective tool that would improve the quality of lawmaking activity, and strengthen the influence of the adopted laws on the course of socio-political, socio-economic, judicial and legal reforms.

The study of foreign experience shows the effective functioning of such institutions. In Greece, for example, the Parliament runs a Scientific and Expert Council, as well as a Department of Parliamentary Studies. The Division for Scientific Support and Coordination of Parliamentary Affairs in the Austrian Parliament Administration has a strong research orientation and cooperates with several Austrian universities and research groups. In the UK, there are no research institutions directly subordinate to the parliament. Nevertheless, the Parliament provides an annual grant to the Institute of History of Parliament for research, addresses other scientific institutions.

The Institute of Parliamentary Law was established in Spain in 1985, as a result of cooperation agreement signed between the Congress of Deputies and the Complutense University of Madrid. In Portugal, the Assembly of the Republic signed an agreement with Portuguese state universities in 1988, on the creation of a permanent system of mutual information and consultations on issues of mutual interest. The Parliament of Finland runs the Institute of International Relations. The Italian Chamber of Deputies cooperates with the universities of Naples, Pisa, Rome, Florence and private research organizations to carry out research and train staff for the Parliament.

The Institute of Study of Legislative Problems will raise the inter-parliamentary ties to a drastically new level; promote the improvement of legislation through the cooperation with research structures of representative bodies of other states. The Legislative Chamber has received more than 20 foreign delegations from the PRC, USA, Germany, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Palestine this year. Five groups have been created for inter-parliamentary cooperation with Georgia, Kazakhstan, China, Lithuania and Kuwait. Their number will reach, allowing exchanging experience in lawmaking, control and analytical, information-educational activities.”

Objectives for the Future

The pressing issues that the head of state raised in his report at the video meeting in the Oliy Majlis, were discussed at the meeting of the International Press Club.

Members of the lower house of parliament, representing all factions of political parties and a group of MPs from the Ecology Movement, dwelled upon about the existing problems in the activities of representative authorities and political parties, their causes and conditions. The participants proposed on elimination of existing omissions and shortcomings, improvement of quality of performance of parliamentarians.

The speakers pointed out to the need to improve the legislative process by ensuring a broad discussion of the draft laws. The participants cited specific examples from international experience, parliaments and political parties of foreign countries like Britain, the United States, France, and the Republic of Korea. Experts, specialists, representatives of political parties and journalists also shared their views.

The meeting also highlighted the ways to renew the quality of activities of political parties, raise their authority among the population, especially young people.

The meeting raised such problems as promises of political parties to the electorate, monitoring of implementation of election programs, strengthening of cooperation between MPs and the media. People's representatives noted that discussions of draft laws are held without any debates and or disputes between the factions, there is no competing environment between the democratic bloc in the parliament and the opposition factions.

Ultimately, the platform of the International Press Club empowered extensive discussions of challenges for the future, as well as ways and methods of their practical implementation.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

TOURISM
Bukhara Develops Pilgrimage Tourism

Uzbekistan possesses thousands of historical and cultural monuments. Several cultural sites in Bukhara region are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

This was especially noted at the conference held with the participation of tourists from Indonesia and Malaysia in the memorial complex of Bahauddin Naqshband. The event, organized by the State Committee for Tourism Development and the regional office of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, was devoted to the presentation of tourism potential of Bukhara.

It stressed that Bukhara land, known throughout the world for its ancient monuments, has ample opportunities for pilgrimage tourism. Cooperation with foreign partners plays an important role in its development.

The participants of the conference visited the grave of Bahauddin Naqshband.

“Indonesia is very familiar with the great muhaddis Imam Al Bukhari,” says tourist Askhari Nuriddin from Indonesia. “Both in Malaysia and Indonesia, the teaching of Naqshband is widely spread, the values of which are beauty of the soul, spiritual perfection, honesty, and it has many followers. Having visited the grave of the great Bahauddin Naqshband, who made an invaluable contribution to the development of Islamic culture, we were convinced that it is well-organized and beautified, and many people visit it.”

Foreign pilgrims also visited Poyi Kalon Complex, and Kalon Mosque, which is part of it. An indelible impression on the guests was made by the history of the cathedral mosque, which accommodates 10 thousand people, architectural structures, and conditions created for those praying.

The guests also got acquainted with Ismoil Somoniy Mausoleum, Labi-Hovuz Complex, the ancient Ark fortress, the Sitorai Mohi Hosa Museum of Applied Art, samples of calligraphic art and national craftsmanship.

“I have traveled to many countries of the East, but I have never seen such hospitality anywhere,” says architect Zaytun Muhammad Noh from Malaysia. “This is my fourth visit to Uzbekistan. Every time I discover here something new. All the ancient cities of this country are beautiful in their own way. However, Bukhara is unique. Here you not only get vivid impressions, but you also find peace and tranquility. Each memorial complex is distinctive and each pattern is unique and hides a deep philosophical meaning. They have some charm that can not be expressed in words. They demonstrate the great creative potential of the Uzbek people.”

Among foreign guests there were also representatives of travel agencies and companies. They exchanged views with Uzbek colleagues on joint development of pilgrimage tourism.

According to Mr. Temirkhodjaev, the head of the main department of the State Committee for Tourism Development, the committee will pay special attention to the development of pilgrimage tourism in the framework of strengthening ties with other countries.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

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