Shavkat Mirziyoyev will meet with Donald Trump at the White House on May 16.
Trump welcomed President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Oval Office for the first time and nodded as the Uzbekistan leader credited the US president for "achieving very outstanding results" in job creation and last year's tax overhaul.
Trump's reply: "I agree 100 percent". Uzbekistan also previously provided a logistical supply route for US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces into Afghanistan. The two leaders were expected to discuss the situation in Afghanistan as the US aims to bring the Taliban to the peace table.
The Uzbekistan leader came to power in 2016 following the death of the country's longtime autocratic ruler.
President Donald Trump is welcoming the president of Uzbekistan to the White House for meetings expected to focus on trade and Afghanistan.
When asked whether Mr. Trump, who recently mused on Twitter about taking away credentials from journalists covering his administration, is an appropriate messenger for press freedom, a senior administration official retorted that comparing the situation in Uzbekistan to the US made "no sense".
Mirziyoyev has sought to maintain friendly ties with Russian Federation while moving to expand ties with the West.
"We commend President Mirziyoyev on the release of all imprisoned journalists in Uzbekistan and call on him to continue his reforms by allowing all Uzbek journalists forced into exile after the 2005 Andijan crisis to return home and resume working without fear of retaliation", said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. His trip to Washington was expected to offer clues about how far he's ready to go to open up to the U.S.