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Uzbekistan To Sit Out SCO Military Exercises

Tashkent -- Uzbekistan's upper house of parliament, the Senate, has approved new legislation on cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to limit that country's role in counterterrorism exercises to the sending of observers.

Senators noted that Uzbek law forbids sending troops abroad.

The SCO includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, in addition to Uzbekistan.

Tashkent appears to be limiting its involvement in the multilateral Eurasian security organization, in which Russia is a dominant partner.

Earlier this summer, Uzbekistan declined to sign documents on the creation of a rapid-reaction force within the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), prompting speculation that Uzbekistan might be considering quitting the CSTO.

Uzbekistan has lately appeared to improve its ties with the United States and among EU member states.