The second meeting of the Commission on Cooperation between the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held in the Aral Sea district of Kyzylorda region.
The meeting took place following the development of agreements between the parliaments of the two countries reached by the parties during the official visit of the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Uzbekistan Maulen Ashimbayev to the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The meeting was aimed at strengthening cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in solving the problems of restoration of the Aral Sea and protection of its ecosystems, as well as implementation of joint educational projects in the field of science and ecology.
Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev stressed that today Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have reached a new stage of cooperation in the history of relations of the two countries and expressed hope that this will help solve the problem.
"The heads of state of our countries regularly emphasize the importance of solving the Aral Sea problem and rational use of transboundary water resources. Today, the Aral Sea is a huge environmental problem and poses challenges to the adjacent territories. At the same time, it opens opportunities for cooperation in using previous experience and technologies for its revival," Maulen Ashimbayev said.
In addition, Maulen Ashimbayev referred to the positive experience in solving a number of problems related to the Aral Sea. The speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan stressed the importance of implementing the first phase of the project "Regulation of the Syr Darya River and protection of the northern part of the Aral Sea", which is funded by the World Bank and the Government of Kazakhstan. In order to preserve the sea level, we need to move to the implementation of the second phase of this project, which includes a variety of new tasks," stressed the Chairman of the Chamber.
He also pointed out that it is important to make the best use of the platform of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea by supporting joint efforts to restore the Aral Sea zone. In addition, we need to look for a mutually beneficial and optimal order of joint management of water resources of transboundary rivers, which form the ecosystem of the region.
Deputy Chairman of the Kazakh Senate and Co-Chairman of the Kazakh part of the Commission, Askar Shakirov, moderated the event. The Uzbek delegation was led by First Deputy Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, Co-Chairman of the Uzbek part of the Commission Sodyk Safoev.
During the meeting, the parliamentarians also visited the Aral Sea region and toured the Kokaralsk Dam, where the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources informed about the current hydrological situation and prospects for development.
The event was attended by senators from two countries, as well as members of the Government of Kazakhstan and representatives of international organizations, including the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan Yakup Beris. "We have gathered here today to unite our efforts to restore and protect ecosystems and to promote socioeconomic development in the region. Building community resilience is a priority task for both countries," said Yakup Beris.