The next major official foreign visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will reportedly be to the United States. cited a press officer for Uzbek president as saying the trip is planned for September.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev and US President Donald Trump have already met, on May 21, during the Riyadh Summit, which brought together leaders of dozens of Arab and mainly Muslim nations.

Under the late President Islam Karimov, US-Uzbek relations went through ups and downs. According to, the golden age came in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. 

Only a week after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, US military transport planes with troops and surveillance equipment flew to Tashkent to begin establishing a US military presence in the country.  Eventually, the Karshi base, known popularly as K2, was set up by US forces to assist offensive operations in Afghanistan. The US substantially increased its financial support for Uzbekistan, and boosted security aid in particular.

That bonhomie all ended in 2005 with the bloody crackdown in the Ferghana Valley city of Andijan. The bloodshed there was followed by firm criticism from Washington, which in turn prompted Karimov to order to closure of the K2 base.

Despite that sharp break, security dialogue has remained a cornerstone of bilateral relations, as testified by the frequent visits to the country by senior US military leaders, says. 

Political analyst Rafael Sattarov said that Mirziyoyev’s visit could mark a monuments turning point in bilateral relations.

“Mirziyoyev needs investments from the United States, but the investment climate is still not suitable for US business. Because of the child labor used in the cotton industry, there is no cooperation.  As far as the energy sector is concerned, [Uzbekistan] is not as interesting as Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan, for example. That is why the Uzbek president needs to work hard to attract US capital,” Sattarov told

As of 2016, there are 158 companies operating in Uzbekistan with involvement from American investors.  A total of 21 US companies are officially registered in Uzbekistan.

Foreign policy experts will be scrutinizing the details of Mirziyoyev’s visit closely for clues about the broader strategic implications. says that as Uzbekistan under Mirziyoyev seeks to carve out a more dynamic role in Central Asia — one focused on re-energizing the integration agenda by all appearances — it is difficult to understand how such doctrinaire positions will be negotiated.

Nevertheless, the Uzbek president has through the sequencing of his foreign visits relatively plainly spelled out where Washington needs to see itself in the pecking order.  Immediate neighbors come first, followed closely by Russia and China.

Unless Mirziyoyev is able to come away with something firm from his trip to Washington, the United States will likely continue to play a bit-part, noted.