While Turkish domestic politics is focused on the upcoming elections on June 24 and world politics is busy with the unexpected rapprochement in the Korean Peninsula, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a historic visit to Uzbekistan, one of the key countries in central Asia and located on historical Turkish lands, and South Korea. Besides boding well for bilateral relations, this trip underlies Turkey's 360-degree foreign policy outlook and the growing importance it attaches to Asia.Turkey has historical and cultural ties with the Turkic republics of Central Asia. It has developed excellent political and economic relations with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan since their independence in the early 1990s. The missing link was Uzbekistan for various reasons. But that is changing now, and Uzbekistan is taking the place on the world map it deserves.
Under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan is opening up to ensure its economic development and political stability. During Erdoğan's visit, 25 agreements were signed in the fields of economy, trade, energy, education, infrastructure and other fields. Turkey and Uzbekistan formally established the High Level Strategic Council mechanism, which Turkey has already established with Russia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Greece, Algeria, Tunisia, Serbia and others around the world. This mechanism will provide further impetus to improving relations between the two countries in all areas of cooperation.