12 Indian observers to monitor Uzbek polls: Envoy

New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) Twelve Indian observers will monitor the Uzbekistan polls scheduled to be held later this month, Uzbek Envoy Farhad Arziev said on Tuesday.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora might himself visit Uzbekistan to monitor the polls or designate someone from the office for it, Arziev said at an event of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

'Elections are due on December 22 and would see a contest among five political parties. A total of 500 international observers, including 12 from India, will monitor the polls,' he said.

The five political parties that will participate in the parliamentary elections are National Revival Party, People's Democratic Party, Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan and 'Adolat' (Justice) Social Democratic Party and Ecological Party. About 20 million people will participate in the elections.

Arziev said Uzbekistan is 'very interested' in Iran's Chabahar port and it is a 'very big opportunity' to improve connectivity with India and Central Asia.

'We are very interested in Chabahar port. It will only expand connectivity opportunities for India and Central Asia and it is in practical interest to have the project,' he said.

Arziev said Central Asia is becoming a region of opportunities as it is a reliable partner.

Bilateral ties between India and Uzbekistan are dynamic and have reached new heights in the last few years, the Uzbek envoy said, adding that there's still a lot of potential for growth.

'We see great potential in enhancing cooperation. We see interest from private sector of India but the potential has not reached even half of it is capable of. Our assessment shows we can easily reach the potential if we take the right steps,' Arziev said. UZM SNE SNE