In an interview with UzReport.com, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Italy to the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Angelo Persiani spoke about the output and economy of Uzbekistan, Italy’s achievements, the potential for cooperation between the two countries, and his impressions of Uzbekistan.
- Mr. Ambassador, on 2 June Italy celebrated national holiday, the Republic Day. Please let me congratulate you and the staff of the embassy on this special event.
- Thank you for the congratulations. We are very pleased to accept them.
- Italy and Uzbekistan are bound by centuries-old traditions of trade and economic and cultural relations, the history of which dates back to the times of the Great Silk Road. How dynamic are they these days?
- Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Vernetti has recently paid a visit to Uzbekistan and held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and met the Presidium of the Uzbek Senate.
- What are the most interesting examples of the results of Italian-Uzbek cooperation?
- Apart from the abovementioned visit, which illustrates our aspiration to strengthen relations between the countries, I am glad to note on the improving relations between the two nations. For instance, an increasing number of articles about the beauty and history of this land are being published in Italian press. A large flow of Italian tourists to Uzbekistan served as a stimulus for the Uzbek airline company to increase the frequency of flights to Rome and even open a new flight to Milan.
- What are the future prospects of bilateral cooperation?
- The prospects are good, but have not yet reached the full potential that exists for the two countries. And although our states have different economic systems, they complement each other, and their fruitful cooperation which created a reference axis in the history of development of the Great Silk Road, assister their becoming powers of notable regional importance.
Our bilateral relations show how the world can move ahead, rejecting any contradictions between the civilizations, but based on relations and dialogue built upon the values that we share.
- What sphere of cooperation is characterized by the highest potential?
- Notable results have been achieved in the sphere of culture. It is remarkable that Italian language is taught in four universities in Uzbekistan, and the scientists of the two countries are working on joint archaeological excavations in Samarkand and Bukhara, which have produced some interesting results and discoveries.
- Italy is famous for its cultural heritage and achievements not only in economy, but also in art. That is why art-lovers show particular interest in the exhibitions of Italian art and the Week of Italian Movies organised in Tashkent.
- Yes we note particular interest toward art in Uzbek people. Movie weeks and exhibitions are very popular. But, so is music. I would like to mention operas staged at the State Academic Bolshoy Theatre named after Alisher Navoi in Tashkent. Also, Italian theatrical plays have been recently staged in Uzbek language in different theatres of Uzbekistan. A good example is Eduardo de Fillipo’s Naples-the City of Millionaires.
- Uzbek people also keenly travel to the historical cities of your country, and the artists of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan go there for internships. Along with this, relations are developing along the line of national diplomacy. Could you please speak of some interesting examples.
- A good example of this is the opening of the exhibition of the works of Uzbek artists inspired by the trip to Italy, particularly Venice. The exhibition was held at the Centre of Modern Art at the Tashkent House of Photography of the Arts Academy of Uzbekistan. I was very excited about the opening of this event, because I too have memories of the inspirational affect of Venice. It is very stirring to know that such feelings are shared by the artists of Uzbekistan.
- Mr. Ambassador, this is not your first year in Uzbekistan, and you regularly go on trips to different regions, you have probably seen the historical sights and the nature, met Uzbek people. Could you please share your impressions.
- I have been working in Uzbekistan for four years, and it is very interesting to travel. I have been to the neighbouring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, swam in the Aral Sea, went fishing to Syrdarya. The diversity of landscapes and the harmony of peaceful life of different ethnic groups that reside in this country is a unique amazing feature of this land.
I believe it is hard to find another country in the world, which would be as exposed to the phenomena of cultural exchange as Uzbekistan. In this sense, it is interesting to observe the co-existence of different religions, because one can seen the presence of a great number of different religions here, including Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, and finally atheism.
- Could you please tell about the internal and foreign economic achievements of Italy?
- For several years in a raw, Italy has been holding the fifth or the sixth position among the most developed countries of the world in the sphere of industry. It is a member of the Group of Eight - a group of western countries with the highest economic potential.
During the past year the new government has successfully pursued its efforts aimed at reducing country’s debt, counteracting tax evasion, bring the accounts to balance, and made a new spurt towards opening Italian economy to other countries.
Along with this Italy continues to fight for the relaxation of the international tension, particularly for stability in Central Asia, as well as fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, because only in the context of peace and security can countries develop, and can cooperation between them improve for the good of their people.
Italy intends to continue import raw materials, which it needs (such as cotton, gas and gold, in which Uzbekistan is so rich), to have an opportunity to process them and sell in the world market.I would like to specifically note that the production potential and economy of Uzbekistan fit well in the numerous economic projects planned by Italy.