Relations with Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan cooperates in a broad range of areas, including civil emergency planning, the development of armed forces and countering current security threats.
NATO Liaison Officer for Central Asia during a visit to the freight terminal in Termez in 2016
- Dialogue with Uzbekistan started in 1992, when the country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (later renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) and practical cooperation began when it joined the Partnership for Peace in 1995.
- Objectives for cooperation are set out in an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme.
From 2002 onwards, Uzbekistan has played an important role in supporting Allied operations in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan permitted Germany the use of its airfield at Termez. It also allowed over-flight and transit permission for Allied forces and supplies. Uzbekistan continues to be a main transit route for humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan, the majority of which is delivered via the Hairaton Bridge. Specialists from Uzbekistan also assisted in implementing tangible infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, including the reconstruction of ten bridges connecting the northern part of the country with Kabul.
In 2009, Uzbekistan, along with Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, completed an agreement with NATO allowing the transportation of non-lethal ISAF cargo to Afghanistan by rail.
Defence and security sector reform
NATO supports the democratic and institutional reform processes in Uzbekistan. Specifically in the area of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that Uzbekistan can draw upon.
Uzbekistan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 2002 aims to attain interoperability between elements of its armed forces and those of NATO Allies. While there was a pause in PARP cooperation following the events in Andijan in 2005, Uzbekistan reaffirmed its participation in the programme in 2010.
Along with several other countries in Central Asia, Uzbekistan has received counter-terrorism training through NATO-funded courses.
Uzbek personnel also participate in a counter-narcotics training project launched by NATO and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2015. The project involves five Central Asian states -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. It follows up on a similar initiative developed under the umbrella of the NATO-Russia Council which was suspended in the wake of Russian aggressive action in Ukraine.
Uzbekistan continues to participate in seminars and workshops on defence policy and strategy within the PfP framework, as well as military education of Uzbek officers, with an emphasis on English language training. Uzbekistan has also engaged in a Defence Education and Enhancement Programme (DEEP) with NATO, which provided expertise on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain.
Civil emergency planning
Civil emergency planning and disaster-relief coordination are significant areas of cooperation. Uzbekistan hosted the first EAPC exercise held in Central Asia in April 2003. Exercise Ferghana 2003 simulated an international response to a major earthquake in the region.
NATO and Uzbekistan are continuing cooperation in this area today. Uzbekistan is developing its civil response capacity for natural and man-made emergency situations in consultation with the Allies..
Science and environment
Uzbekistan has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1993. Leading areas for cooperation include energy security, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention.
Cooperation in the area of public diplomacy with Uzbekistan aims to raise awareness of the Alliance and the benefits of partnership with NATO as well as engaging with key opinion formers and civil society. In 2014, NATO opened a Depository Library in Uzbekistan’s University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent. Academics, government officials and opinion formers from Uzbekistan are also regularly invited to visit NATO Headquarters for briefings about the Alliance.
Dialogue takes place within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia conducts high-level political dialogue with Uzbek authorities through regular visits to the country.
NATO and Uzbekistan are developing practical cooperation in a number of areas through the country’s Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is agreed for a two-year period.
Uzbekistan also cooperates with NATO and other partner countries on a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
Uzbekistan joins the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997.
Uzbekistan joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP).
Uzbekistan signs a security agreement with NATO.
Uzbekistan and NATO agree on the country's first Individual Partnership Programme (IPP).
Uzbekistan signs the PfP Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Allies.
Uzbekistan is connected to the Virtual Silk Highway.
Uzbekistan joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP).
NATO and partner countries complete a major disaster response exercise in Uzbekistan.
NATO’s Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, calls for an independent investigation into the events at Andijan in May; the NATO Parliamentary Assembly adopts a declaration also recommending an independent investigation into these events.
Uzbekistan signs an agreement to carry out a project aimed to destroy the country’s stocks of mélange, a very toxic substance.
NATO completes arrangements with several countries, including Uzbekistan, for the transit of non-lethal ISAF cargo to Afghanistan by rail.
Mélange conversion project successfully completed.
President Islam Karimov visits NATO Headquarters.
Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Defence Minister Kabul Berdiev attend the 25th NATO Summit in Chicago.
Uzbekistan agrees its first Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme with NATO.
Office of the NATO Liaison Officer opens in Tashkent.
A Defence Education and Enhancement Programme (DEEP) is established with Uzbekistan.
NATO Depository Library is opened at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent.