[Correspondent over video of a meeting] The solemn [inauguration] ceremony was attended by members of the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, heads of various organizations in the country, members of the Central Electoral Commission [CEC], judges of the Constitutional Court, and diplomats as well as local and foreign media representatives.
[Passage omitted: the CEC chairman makes an opening speech]
Vows to guarantee human rights
[Islam Karimov] I solemnly pledge to faithfully serve Uzbekistan’s people, strictly abide by the Constitution and the republic’s laws, guarantee the citizens’ rights and freedoms and conscientiously fulfil duties entrusted to the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
[Passage omitted: the national anthem is played]
[Islam Karimov] Dear compatriots and friends!
Today, during these solemn moments, from this high rostrum, I would like once again to assure you and through you the whole Uzbek nation that I will mobilize all my strength, knowledge and experience to fully implement all priority tasks that have been planned and mentioned in my election platform. Above all, while carrying out our country’s domestic and foreign policy, it will continue to be the key objectives of all my activities to further increase the potential and power of our country, to ensure the all-round development of our homeland, and peaceful, calm, free and prosperous life of our people.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere respect and deep gratitude to all our voters, my dear compatriots, who gave me a massive vote of confidence by freely expressing their will at the Uzbek presidential election which was held in full compliance with our constitution and laws, international legal norms and universally recognized democratic standards. [Applause]
I wish from the bottom of my heart that Allah saves our country and people and grants us happiness and luck. [Applause]
Says inauguration day "historic"
Today is certainly a historic day for our country, our homeland and people. From this viewpoint, I believe that everybody irrespective of their location, job, position or place of residence - be it far or near - understands this well and feels this in their hearts. I think days and years will pass and maybe centuries will pass, but today, and I think everyone will agree, is a remarkable day in the history of the independent Uzbekistan, a day which will be remembered as a date that adorns the history of our country. [Applause]
Says people behind achievements
Standing on this rostrum today, I would like to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, looking at your faces and eyes, that I have remained the same as I was in 1991. And I think that all of you understand well that those who voted for me took into consideration exactly this [fact], that is, the path which we have started will never end. We will certainly reach our noble goals. [Applause] Allah will certainly help us achieve these goals, and we see that Allah is doing so. And I think that if we, from the bottom of our hearts and being clean, ask God, he will have mercy on Uzbekistan.
I would like to say again that representatives who have gathered here are the representatives of the whole of our nation. We have worked together for many years. And another view that comes from my heart is that all the achievements gained over the years of independence are [credited], above all, to our people’s selfless work.
[Passage omitted: every person has contributed to the country’s achievements]
Pledges no deviation from chosen path
[Karimov] In front of the [foreign] guests who are sitting here today and attending our session by respecting us, I would like to say that the Uzbek nation has always been hospitable and tolerant. It is a nation which is ready to embrace the whole world. [Applause] From this point of view, I would like to say that I pray that God would keep features and peculiarities, which are specific to us, distinguish the Uzbek nation from other nations and mostly suit us, in [the hearts of] our children and descendants. And may we always be hospitable and tolerant.
And seizing this opportunity today, I would like to convey you one wish of mine to those who helped and supported us in reaching these days, whoever they are and wherever they are and whether they are attending today’s session or not, and to their representatives, if you like, to the foreign guests who are sitting here by respecting us. I would like to ask you to convey to your countries and peoples that the Uzbek nation will remain the same. And first, it will never deviate from its path, and second, it will never forget the help and support given to us. I wish you health, and I would also like to thank you very much. [Applause]
[Passage omitted: the CEC chairman congratulates Karimov and gives a bouquet of red roses to him; a correspondent praises the recent presidential election]
Source: BBC Monitoring