We must increase cooperation in the tourism sector. As countries that both have a Muslim majority population, Indonesia (NTB province) and Uzbekistan (Bukhara) already have halal tourism cooperation
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Puan Maharani has said she hopes that the Indonesian and Uzbekistan parliaments will strengthen cooperation to increase women's leadership and promote gender equality.

"This collaboration aims to encourage women to be involved in politics and policy-making. As a fellow female parliament speaker, I appreciate Her Excellency (Senate Speaker of the Uzbekistan Parliament Tanzila Narbaeva)'s leadership at this women speakers summit," Maharani said in a statement on Saturday .

Maharani and Narbaeva held a meeting on the sidelines of the 14th Women Speakers Summit Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on Friday.

Maharani said that gender equality is the main issue that she has fought for in Indonesia and at the global level, and therefore, she was interested in participating in the 14th Women Speakers Summit IPU.

During the meeting, Maharani told Narbaeva that she was happy to visit Uzbekistan, which has many places of historical value.

They date back to the time when Maharani's grandfather, first Indonesian President Soekarno, visited Uzbekistan in 1956 and asked the Soviet Union government to find and restore the tomb of Imam Al-Bukhari.

“So, my visit to Uzbekistan is a trace (tracing of Soekarno’s steps). The close relationship between the two countries can be seen from the many Uzbek people who know Bung Karno (Soekarno),” Maharani said.

She also lauded the good relations between Indonesia and Uzbekistan, which have lasted 30 years. This week’s meeting also served as a momentum for discussing the strengthening of several cooperations between Indonesia and Uzbekistan.

Maharani said that Uzbekistan is a strategic trading partner for Indonesia in Central Asia, therefore she appreciates the trust placed by Uzbekistan in Indonesian companies for investment cooperation.

"The cooperation includes Uzbekistan's investment in Indonesia in the telecommunications sector and the signing of cooperation in the field of tourism and hotel management in the Imam Al-Bukhari mausoleum area in Samarkand. It is necessary to encourage business missions and promotion of the two countries," she added.

In the education, social, and cultural fields, she lauded the formation of the Uzbekistan-Indonesia Friendship Society, which is a forum for the Darmasiswa program run by Indonesia for students from Uzbekistan.

The House Speaker then expressed her admiration for Indonesian language teaching activities at various universities in Uzbekistan, including Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies and Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Language.

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"We must increase cooperation in the tourism sector. As countries that both have a Muslim majority population, Indonesia (NTB province) and Uzbekistan (Bukhara) already have halal tourism cooperation," she noted.

DPR RI and the Uzbekistan parliament have interacted during parliamentary forums such as the IPU and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), she added.

In addition, DPR RI has formed a Bilateral Cooperation Group (GKSB) with 102 parliaments of friendly countries, including the Uzbekistan parliament, as a manifestation of efforts to build and strengthen relations between the two countries’ parliaments, she added.

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Meanwhile, Narbaeva said that Maharani's visit was an important and historic moment in Indonesia's relations with Uzbekistan. She then recalled Bung Karno's service to the people and her country, saying he had helped find and encouraged the restoration of the tomb of Imam Al-Bukhari, an Islamic figure in Uzbekistan.

"Bung Karno was also meaningful to us because he was one of the first state leaders to visit Uzbekistan, during the Soviet Union (rule); and President Soekarno was the first world leader to make a pilgrimage to Imam Al-Bukhari's grave," Narbaeva said.

She also called for the deepening of relations between Indonesia and Uzbekistan, starting by improving economic, tourism, social, and inter-parliamentary relations.

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Translator: Imam Budilaksono, Resinta S
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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