ID :
Mon, 11/17/2008 - 11:11
Auther :


By Jamaluddin Muhammad

TASHKENT, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
arrived here Sunday to begin a four-day official visit to Uzbekistan.

His executive jet landed at the Tashkent International Airport at 11.20am
(Malaysian time: 2.30pm) and he was greeted upon arrival by Uzbekistan Prime
Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov.

Abdullah, accompanied by wife Jeanne Abdullah, later proceeded to
the Presidential Residence, Durmen, where they will be staying at the Guest
House throughout their visit here.

Durmen is the official residence of Uzbekistan President Islam
Karimov, who
is also Head of State.

The Malaysian delegation includes four ministers - Nazri Aziz and
Senator Amirsham Abdul Aziz (both from the Prime Minister's Department),
Shafie Apdal (unity, culture, arts and heritage) and Mohamed
Khaled Nordin (higher education).

Later, Abdullah and Jeanne will visit Abul Qosim Handicraft Madrassah
before attending a welcoming dinner hosted by Malaysian Ambassador to Uzbekistan
Abdul Aziz Harun at a hotel here.

An official welcoming ceremony for the Malaysian prime minister is scheduled
to be held at the Durmen.

Later, Abdullah and Islam will hold a private meeting before leading their
respective delegations for a meeting at the Durmen. This will be followed by the
signing of memorandi of understanding on cooperation in science and technology,
as well as higher education between the two countries.

Abdullah will also attend a briefing on Petronas operations in this country
at a hotel here, before joining the Malaysian community in Uzbekistan for tea at
the same hotel.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad[1], is a Malaysian owned oil
and gas company

Abdullah and Jeanne are scheduled to visit the Monument of Independence
Humanism for a wreath-laying ceremony. They will also visit the Hazrati
Imam Complex where the oldest Al-Quran is kept.

Abdullah will conclude his second day visit by attending an official
hosted by the Uzbekistan president at Durmen.

On Tuesday, Abdullah and his entourage will leave here for Samarkand,
situated 350km south of Tashkent.

Samarkand is considered one of the world's oldest inhabited cities whose
existence exceeds 2,750 years. It is also located in the Great Silk Route, a
trade route between Europe and China.

Abdullah and Jeanne will visit the famous Islamic hadith scholar Imam
Bukhari's Mausoleum, Bibihanum Mosque, Samarkand Market, Registan Square and
Guri Amir.

Bibihanum Mosque was built in 1399 by then-Samarkand ruler and warrior Amir
Timur and named the mosque after his wife, while Registan Square consists of
three madrasah build in 15th and 17th century and served as madrasah, mosques
and now monument.

Guri Amir is a mausoleum built in 1404 by Amir Timur for his grandson,
Mohamed Sultan, who was supposed to have become the heir of the throne after him
but died. Amir Timur was also burried there later.

Abdullah is scheduled to depart from Samarkand on the final day to proceed
to Ashgabat where he will start his two-day official visit to Turkmenistan.