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Uzbek Media Focuses On Clinton's Comments On Cooperation, Not Rights


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Uzbek president Islam Karimov in Tashkent

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Uzbek president Islam Karimov in Tashkent

Uzbek media have been widely reporting the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which finishes on October 23.

Clinton met with Uzbek President Islam Karimov on October 22.

Details released by the State Department quote Clinton as saying, "We have a range of concerns about religious freedom, broader human rights issues, the need for further democratic reforms, the trafficking in persons, forced labor issue" and addingthat there is a need to show progress on all those issues.

The state's National Information Agency of Uzbekistan and pro-government website Olam.uz reported on the same meeting, omitting any mention of the rights issues and focusing instead on "the significance of our country in providing security and stability in [the Central Asian] region."

The reports noted Clinton thanking Karimov for Uzbekistan's help in "settling the Afghan problem and in giving aid for the social and economic restoration of Afghanistan."

The reports do mention "the sides exchanged views on issues of developing dialogue between the two countries' civil societies," but make no mention of any specific human rights or democratic reform issues.

The evening broadcast of the daily news on Uzbekistan's state-owned First Channel on October 22 also concentrated on Uzbekistan's cooperation with the U.S. to resolve the problems in Afghanistan.

Media did report that Clinton was due to visit the GM Powertrain Uzbekistan plant, a joint venture with the U.S. that is set to start producing some 200,000 motors, which "meet the most modern ecological and technical requirements."

compiled from agency reports

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