In order to participate in the interfaith Iftar and a roundtable devoted to ensuring religious freedom in Uzbekistan, the delegation of Uzbekistan including Director of the National Human Rights Center Akmal Saidov, Chairman of the Senate Committee of Oliy Majlis Alisher Kurmanov, Director of the Center for Islamic Civilization Shoazim Minovarov and Mufti Usmonkhon Alimov arrived in Washington, the press service of the MFA reports.
“The visit of the Uzbek delegation was a logical continuation of the ministerial conference on the promotion of religious freedom held in July last year, at which Uzbekistan was represented for the first time, and the subsequent visit to Uzbekistan by the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback,” the Foreign Ministry said.
During their stay in Washington, the delegation held bilateral meetings with representatives of the White House and the US State Department. On May 21, at a meeting with Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States Lisa Curtis, large-scale political and legal reforms in Uzbekistan, including in the field of human rights, were discussed. The delegation of Uzbekistan was also received by Special Adviser to the Vice President for South and Central Asia Michael Catron.
“The American side welcomed the implementation of deep political and socio-economic transformations in Uzbekistan over the past two years and positively assessed the progress in ensuring religious freedom. Representatives of the White House expressed their readiness to work closely with the Uzbek side on all issues of the extensive agenda of bilateral cooperation,” the MFA noted.
Within the framework of the official delegation’s visit to Washington, an interfaith Iftar was held, in which for the first time in the history of Uzbek-American relations the Mufti of Uzbekistan took part. The event took place in the Grand Hall named after George Schultz – US State Secretary under the administration of Ronald Reagan. Representatives of the State Department and the US Congress, public and political figures, heads of diplomatic missions of a number of Muslim countries, leading Islamic theologians and leaders of the Muslim community, Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues and other denominations took part in the Iftar party.
Guests were greeted by the Mufti of Uzbekistan Umonkhon Alimov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan Javlon Vakhabov, the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.
“The participants were informed about traditions of tolerance of the Uzbek people, including wide celebration of the holy month of Ramadan in our country, together with representatives of all religious denominations of Uzbekistan,” the statement of the Foreign Ministry reads.