February 6, 2017 / 1:23 PM / 6 months ago

EBRD delegation visits Uzbekistan to discuss cooperation

ALMATY, Feb 6 (Reuters) - A delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) visited Uzbekistan on Monday to discuss cooperation following the change of leadership in Tashkent, the country's foreign ministry said.

The EBRD, which has invested billions of dollars in other former Soviet republics, has not signed any projects in Uzbekistan for almost a decade and does not have an office in the country.

Monday's visit by the EBRD team was the first one since the death last September of President Islam Karimov who had run the country since 1989 and was succeeded by Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a former prime minister.

Mirziyoyev has pledged to liberalise Uzbekistan's notoriously tightly-controlled economic policy, but the Tashkent government has yet to take any concrete steps in that direction.

The Uzbek foreign ministry said in a statement that minister Abdulaziz Kamilov has met Natalia Khanjenkova, managing director for Turkey and Central Asia at the EBRD, to discuss the agenda for a visit by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti.

A spokeswoman for the EBRD said: "EBRD President is interested in visiting Uzbekistan at a suitable point in the next few months. When we know more, we will announce it." (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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