On July 1, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with His Excellency Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, to reaffirm the strategic security partnership between the United States and Uzbekistan and to discuss the evolving security situation in the Central Asia region.
Minister Kamilov expressed his appreciation for the United States’ continuous support for Uzbekistan’s defense modernization. Secretary Austin and Minister Kamilov agreed on the importance of further enhancing bilateral military-to-military cooperation and shared their desire to continue close collaboration on issues such as counterterrorism, border security, and defense institution capacity building.
Secretary Austin congratulated the Minister on the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Independence. He also welcomed Uzbekistan’s longstanding support for international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and desire to help in the economic reconstruction of the country, and its integration into the Central Asian region. Both leaders reiterated their commitment to further promote the goal of a durable political settlement in Afghanistan.
Secretary Austin thanked Uzbekistan for its leadership role in advancing stability and security in Central Asia and reiterated that the United States will continue to work with the countries of the region to address common security challenges.