AKIPRESS.COM - IICA hosted a meeting with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Uzbekistan Yousef Al-Otaibi to discuss further prospects for interaction, UzA reports.
The parties discussed the results of the historic Summit of the Heads of State of Central Asia and the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf. The results of this summit served as a significant impetus for further cooperation in key areas such as trade, transport, agriculture, industrial collaboration, development of green energy, digital economy, and innovation.
Special attention was paid to the importance of implementing several initiatives proposed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the First Meeting of the C5+ countries, the Gulf States in Jeddah, including the signing of an Agreement on Friendship, Regional Connectivity and Cooperation, the creation of an Investor Council and the formation of a single visa-free tourist space "Gulf – Central Asia", as well as the Second Summit of the Heads of State of Central Asia and the Gulf countries in Samarkand in 2025.
The sides highlighted steps towards strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. They noted the development of partnerships in the tourism sector. The number of tourists from Uzbekistan reached 500,000 people in 2023.
The meeting participants paid special attention to the issue of visa regulation. The innovation, which allows Uzbekistan tourists to obtain an electronic visa to visit Saudi Arabia, is an important step. This multiple-entry visa, allowing tourists to stay in the country for up to 90 days, is valid for a year.
The strategic importance of this area of cooperation for both countries was also emphasized, and it was noted that 28 mutual air flights are currently carried out weekly. It is planned to increase this figure to 50 flights per week.
The parties noted the importance of increasing cooperation between expert and analytical communities of Central Asia and the Gulf countries and also agreed to establish partnerships between IICA and leading analytical centers of Saudi Arabia.