President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, at the request of the Uzbek President, for about 25 minutes from 4:00 p.m. today.
With regard to the COVID-19 outbreak, President Mirziyoyev said that Korea, backed by President Moon’s leadership and superb public healthcare capabilities, has demonstrated the best possible results with respect to the pandemic situation. He then expressed his deep gratitude for Korea’s humanitarian assistance to Uzbekistan and dispatch of a medical specialist to his country.
Importantly, President Mirziyoyev noted that the medical expert from Korea is sharing Korea’s advanced epidemic prevention know-how and medical treatment experience, which is a great help for the Uzbek Government and people to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
President Moon said, “I believe that now the most important thing for overcoming the COVID-19 crisis is the cooperation and solidarity of the international community. Korea will continue to play a proactive role going forward with regard to international solidarity for responding to COVID-19.
President Moon went on to say, “From early on in the COVID-19 outbreak, Uzbekistan enforced rigorous restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals, yet its Government eased entry restrictions specially for Korean businesspeople and allowed chartered flights so that people from both countries could return home. I am grateful for such cooperation”
The Korean Government proposed that entry restrictions be waived for Korean businesspeople carrying a health certificate. Thereafter, 46 Korean businesspeople were exempted from the mandatory quarantine measures after entering Uzbekistan on three occasions.
Moreover, President Moon said, “I also appreciate your cooperation in helping arrange chartered flights, allowing people from both countries to return to their homes, despite the Uzbek Government’s suspension of all international flights and closure of all airports.” The Uzbek Government permitted one charter flight per week to get people back home, and during March alone a total of 359 Koreans returned to Korea.
President Mirziyoyev expressed his gratitude for the upcoming dispatch of more medical specialists from Korea. He said his country would like to fully adopt Korea’s experience in and systems for fighting epidemics and then requested the continued dispatches of specialists, the establishment of a cooperative arrangement between the public health authorities of both countries, and the provision of diagnostic kits and other quarantine supplies.
President Moon proposed that the two countries further strengthen the special strategic partnership between Korea and Uzbekistan by successfully surmounting the COVID-19 outbreak. President Mirziyoyev strongly agreed with this proposal and suggested that their bilateral cooperation be stepped up by reopening high-level exchanges as soon as the COVID-19 outbreak is brought under control.