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The Embassy of Uzbekistan in Israel held a reception on the occasion of its 22nd Independence Day on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv along with hundreds of guests.  

The event was attended by senior members of the Israeli government, foreign ambassadors and members of the diplomatic core, leading businessmen and other distinguished guests.


Among the many guests were members of the Israeli Government, Uri Ariel, Minister of Housing and Construction, MK Faina Kirschenbaum, Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs and member of the Israel Beiteinu Party, and MK Avigdor Lieberman, a former MK, Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and the founder and leader of the Israel Beiteinu party.   

Ambassador of Uzbekistan, Oybek I. Eshonov, his wife, and embassy diplomatic staff warmly received and welcomed guests with personal handshakes.


AmbassadorEshonov noted that precisely twenty-two years ago Uzbekistan earned its independence and began a new stage in its historical development. Within this short period, the country underwent a complicated but fruitful journey. Today, he continues, the Uzbek nation is deservedly proud of its progress in all spheres. Great changes have occurred from individual families to large-scale transformations, such as modernization of its cities, villages and the country in general. The country's economy and society grew at a stable, steady pace with an increasing standard of living. The economy has shown a steady growth of over eight percent in the last six years. He also noted that the State of Israel was one of the first countries to acknowledge Uzbekistan's independence and begin diplomatic relations. Uzbekistan considers Israel an important partner in the Middle East. The government of Uzbekistan is interested in deepening the political dialogue between the two nations, and broadening the trade, economic and cultural links.

Uri Ariel, Israel's Housing and Construction minister welcomed the Ambassador and the Uzbek nation on behalf of the Israeli government. He noted that Israel and Uzbekistan are similar in many ways and face similar challenges. Both have had to contend with arid climates and have successfully moved from a mostly agricultural economy to a more industrial one. Both nations share a similar regional strategic view. Indeed, both are countries that live in what can be described as "tough neighborhoods" and both face the threats of terrorism and Islamist radicalism. He noted that in recent years, there has been much progress in the relations between the countries. We have seen visits by cabinet ministers, diplomatic dialogue, and also the visiting of an Israeli parliamentary delegation to Uzbekistan. Ariel mentioned that a year ago we commemorated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Uzbekistan. Indeed, Israel was among the first countries to recognize the Republic of Uzbekistan following the declaration of its independence and that we hope to continue to strengthen and further our ties.


Mr. Shlomo Morgan, the Israeli Foreign Ministry representative further noted that in Israel, there are more than 200,000 Jews originally from Uzbekistan. They are an integral part of Israeli society and many of them hold prominent positions in our economy and political system. We are impressed with their success in maintaining the Bukhari Uzbeki culture and tradition. They are also an important bridge between both nations. He added that we will never forget that during the horrors of the Holocaust during WWII, Uzbekistan gave refuge to many Jews and the Uzbeki people opened their hearts to us.


Outgoing ambassador of Israel in Uzbekistan, Hillel Newman also congratulated the Uzbeki nation. Newman stated that during his service in Uzbekistan he was always received warmly. He said that although Uzbekistan is predominantly an Islamic state, it represents moderate Islam and is a country with strong democratic values. Relations with the Uzbeki administration were very good with a high level of cooperation during his tenure as ambassador.

Guests were surprised to discover that among them was the well-known Israeli singer and actress Galit Giat, who recently returned with her troupe from a folk festival in Uzbekistan celebrating Eastern melodies. Galit praised the wonderful hospitality and cordial reception accorded to the members of her band. It seems that the love was mutual as the Israeli band won the "Crowd Favorite" title.


Ambassador of Uzbekistan Mr. Aoibk Ashonov, Mr. Uri Ariel Housing and Construction Minister and Mr. Solomon Morgan Israeli Foreign Ministry representative

Hillel Newnam Former Israeli Ambassador to Uzbekistan and Mr. Yaakov Moshihov President of the World Congress of Bukharan Jews

 Photographer: Eli Blilus