The meeting hall is ready. The flags are determinedly put in place. The hall is inspected for the last time. Journalists will start arriving at the appointed time. In a while, the first meeting of the "Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan-Turkey" dialogue format will begin.
The delegations participating in the meeting - the Turkish delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mavlud Cavusogli and the Azerbaijani delegation led by Jeyhun Bayramov - have already arrived in Tashkent.
Norov and Cavusogli will talk before the trilateral meeting. Host Norov arrived at the meeting place early. He did not forget to clean his hands with antiseptic according to the requirements of the pandemic. He has become acquainted with the latest situation.
At the beginning of the meeting, Norov expressed his satisfaction to see Cavusoglu in his homeland Uzbekistan. After the ministers chatted for a while and exchanged compliments, they discussed the main issues behind closed doors.
After the meeting, Norov and Cavusoglu stopped in the corridor and continued their discussions in English (!). When approaching the flags, the Azerbaijan delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov joined from elsewhere.
Parties - Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov, Minister of Transport Ilkhom Mahkamov, First Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Laziz Kudratov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mavlud Cavusoglu, Minister of Trade Mehmet Mush, Minister of Transport and Trade Odil Karaismoiloglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov, Minister of Economy Mikail Jabbarov, Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashod Nabiyev gathered in the main hall where the meeting will be held.
Vladimir Norov opened the meeting of delegations of three Turkish states in English. According to Norov, Uzbekistan's communication with Turkey and Azerbaijan has expanded in the past 5 years. Trade turnover with Azerbaijan has increased by almost seven times, and with Turkey by two and a half times.
The Minister noted the importance of using the transit potential of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway construction project, and the Termiz-Mazari-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway for Uzbekistan and spoke about creating opportunities on the implementation of the road project, a unique opportunity for Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey to directly access the promising markets of South Asia, with a total population of 1.9 billion and a GDP of $3.5 trillion.
At the meeting, the development and promotion of joint projects in the fields of trade, investment, industry, transport, and communications, the multimodal transport route "Trans-Caspian-East-West-Middle Corridor", including increasing the potential of transit corridors passing through the territories of the allied countries of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, making effective use of the high transit potential of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, further the cooperation between the three countries on the development of international transport corridors the importance of strengthening was discussed.
The delegation of Azerbaijan also gave a speech in English at the meeting. (!) Turkish ministers spoke in their native language. On the part of Uzbekistan, only the Minister of Transport Ilkhom Mahkamov spoke in Uzbek, and this deserves recognition. After the meeting, a tripartite declaration was signed.
The parties expressed their determination to strengthen and develop mutual cooperation on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
They recognized that peace and stability in Afghanistan is an important factor for ensuring security in the Central Asian region, and continued the efforts of the international community to provide, encourage and support unhindered humanitarian assistance. Parties stressed the importance of inclusive governance and dialogue between Afghan stakeholders.
They expressed their determination to continue their joint efforts to realize the full potential of cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, and transport, including all types of transport and transit communications.
Importantly, they emphasized the importance of contributing to Azerbaijan's post-conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction and reintegration efforts by investing in the Karabakh and East Zangazur regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijani side praised the activities of Turkish and Uzbek companies in helping of restoration of the liberated areas of Azerbaijan and appreciated their participation in the infrastructure of reconstruction projects.
It also emphasized the need to open the Zangazur Corridor connecting Eastern Zangazur and the Nakhichevan autonomous Republic of the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to expand international transport links.
The Tashkent declaration was adopted at the meeting.
At a briefing held after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jayhun Bayramov, who was born in 73, addressed the 67-year-old Minister of Uzbekistan Norov as his brother.
It turns out that Bayramov, who changed his speech from English to Uzbek, thought that "brother" had the same meaning in Uzbek.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mavlud Cavushogli, realized Bayramov's mistake and seemed embarrassed.
The meeting came to an end, and the ministers returned.