Uzbek interior minister, EU delegation discuss drug fight
An EU delegation led by Manuel Marcelo Monteiro Curto, the coordinator for the Portuguese office for Central Asia, who is also the Portuguese ambassador to Uzbekistan resident in Moscow, has visited the Interior Ministry of Uzbekistan, Uzbek newspaper Na Postu reported on 15 September.
Uzbek Interior Minister Lt-Gen Bahodir Matlubov met and held talks with him. He said that many high-level visits had been paid since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and the EU in 1994, which underlined how dynamic relations were.
An important step was the signing of an agreement on partnership and cooperation in 1999.
Within the framework of this agreement, representatives of the country’s Interior Ministry are taking an active part in the work of a subcommittee for justice, internal affairs, human rights and associated issues, whose latest session was held in May this year.
As for the law-enforcement sphere, it was noted that the Uzbek Interior Ministry had bilateral agreements with over 10 EU countries on the preservation of law and order and the fight against crime, and similar documents with five [EU] countries were being prepared.
The minister told the guests about the main areas of the work of the country’s Interior Ministry, concentrating on the counteraction against the spread of drugs, as well as the detection and suppression of drug trafficking channels and sources both inside and outside the country.
It was noted that only through close cooperation between the law-enforcement agencies of various countries could the sources and channels of drug trafficking be eliminated.
It should also be taken into account that the proceeds of the drug business were among the main sources of financing various terrorist and extremist forces.
Uzbekistan is actively cooperating with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee.
The legal basis which ensures the prevention of any manifestations of extremism and terrorism in the country is being improved.
For his part, Manuel Marcelo Monteiro Curto thanked the host for a warm welcome and detailed report on the current crime situation in the region.
He noted that Uzbekistan was a key country in Central Asia, and that stability and peace were being preserved in the region, to a large extent, thanks to its participation in various international programmes.
Manuel Marcelo Monteiro Curto expressed firm confidence that cooperation between the EU and Uzbekistan would further strengthen and deepen.
The meeting was attended by Uzbek deputy interior ministers, Col Alisher Sharofiddinov and Col A. Shodiyev.