The Rt Hon Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister of State at British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, paid an official visit to Uzbekistan from 15 to 17 April 2014.
The purpose of the visit was primarily to enhance the bilateral relations between the UK and Uzbekistan, and to engage in detailed aspects of the political relationship, covering regional security, commercial and human rights issues. During the visit Baroness Warsi met high-level Uzbek officials including Mr Rustam Azimov, First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lieutenant-General Kabul Berdiev, Minister of Defence, Senator Safaev, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Dr Akmal Saidov, Director of the National Human Rights Centre.
The Minister also held productive meetings with representatives of civil society, British business people working in Tashkent and Uzbek alumni of British universities.
This was Baroness Warsi’s second visit to Uzbekistan as Senior Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and her third visit in three years, having visited as Cabinet Minister without Portfolio in April 2012. Other recent senior visitors include the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, in February 2012.
Baroness Warsi was appointed Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities at the Department for Communities and Local Government in September 2012. She was previously Chairman of the Conservative Party and is a Conservative member of the House of Lords. The Minister is responsible for: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Central Asian states; human rights; UN, OIC, International Organisations and the International Criminal Court; all FCO business in the House of Lords.