In an effort to further strengthen Indonesia-Uzbekistan relations, particularly on the people-to-people contact level, informal meetings between the Indonesian Embassy in Tashkent with the Indonesia-Uzbekistan Friendship Association has been held on the evening of December 27th 2011. The entire staff of the Embassy mingled with more than 40 people of group of Friends of Indonesia from various walks of life including from government, the Council of Civic Movement of Youth Kamolot media and Dharmasiswa scholarship program alumni in Uzbekistan. During the meeting was also conducted Q and A sessions and discussion in addition to bowling competition among participants.
In the brief opening statement, the Indonesian Ambassador to Uzbekistan H.E. Mohamad Asruchin said that the meeting aims to foster and develop relations between the two countries which are already well in various fields, especially with those friends of Indonesia, including the mass media. A number of Embassy’ programs had gained extraordinary enthusiasm, including that of the Indonesia-Uzbekistan Cultural Performance held in Bukhara on 12-13 December 2011, Gamelan musical instrument performance at the Sharq Taronalari in August 2011 and Tashkent Conservatory dance performance during Sawah lunto art Festival in November 2011. According to him, people-to-people contact is one of the effective tools for the total diplomacy in the Indonesian foreign policy.
Responding to Ambassador Asruchin, representatives of the Indonesia-Uzbekistan Friendship Association, Mr. Gulyamov thanked and recognized the event as an effective means to better relations between the two countries. He believes that as a biggest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia is already close to the Uzbekistan people’s heart for Uzbekistan is also a Muslim majority country. He further expressed the willingness of himself personally and the association he chaired to support the development for closer relations between the two countries the coming years.
The Executive Director of the Indonesia-Uzbekistan Friendship Association, Prof. Hakimov Rashid who is also Dean of the University of Economics congratulated and welcomed the 2012 year as a new page for the relations between the two countries which are already good and warm. He assured of Uzbekistan’s firm stand to strengthen the bilateral relations in all fields and hence welcome any feedbacks and opinions from the Indonesian side concerning the issues that need further and more detail consideration and that will yield more satisfying results, particularly in connection with Master Degree program for its students in Indonesia next year.
Several participants also made statements during the Q n A session/discussion, including one member of the Uzbekistan delegation who was impressed when joining the Sawah Lunto Art Festival on the island of Sumatra in late November 2011 and when the Uzbekistan art group received the Best Debut Award among participants from the five continents. Prof. Adiba Sharipova of the Tashkent Conservatory also expressed her happiness after participating in the Indonesia-Cultural Festival in Bukhara which she deemed very successful that she offered a special concert at the Tashkent Conservatory in the Conservatorium featuring many Indonesian traditional music with musical instruments.
Activities such as gathering again showed the effectiveness of people-to-people contact as one effective tool for the total diplomacy in the Indonesian foreign policy. The introduction of Indonesia to the general public overseas will later serve as solid basis for the improvement of bilateral relations be it in politics, economics, social and cultural aspects. For 2012, the Embassy has prepared programs of art and cultural performances in its accredited countries: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, in addition to exchange of visits between business people, tourist and academicians.