On Thursday 08 November 2012 Dr Tim Haughton and Dr Galina Yemelianova (both from CREES) hosted a lunch for Ambassador Otabek Akbarov of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The lunch was also attended by Mr Aziz Rasulov, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies in Tashkent and Dr Djakhongir Saidov (University of Birmingham's School of Law) who coordinated the Ambassador's visit to Birmingham. The Ambassador acknowledged the rare and valuable area studies expertise on Central Asia which exists at CRESS. He pointed, in particular, to its growing political and security relevance in the light of the Western military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.
The Ambassador expressed strong interest in the possibility of establishing research and teaching collaboration between CREES and the Tashkent State University and the Institute of Oriental Studies in the Uzbek capital. In particular, he welcomed the idea of a new MA programme in Russian and Eurasian Studies at CREES and suggested a participation of Uzbek lecturers in its teaching, including teaching of Uzbek language. He will be returning to the University of Birmingham later in the academic year.