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Uzbek Interim President Rules Out Military Alliances


Shavkat Mirziyaev has ruled out military alliances, following the same course as late strongman Islam Karimov.

Shavkat Mirziyaev has ruled out military alliances, following the same course as late strongman Islam Karimov.

Uzbekistan's interim president, Shavkat Mirziyaev, has ruled out military alliances, following the same course as late strongman Islam Karimov.

A Foreign Ministry statement quoted Mirziyaev as making the comments on September 9 at a joint session of the upper and lower parliament houses.

"The firm position of our country, as before, is nonmembership in all military-political alliances and not allowing other states' military bases and facilities on the territory of Uzbekistan," Mirziyaev said.

"No one should doubt that any attempt by internal and external forces to encroach on the sovereignty and independence of our country will be severely suppressed," he added.

The comments come a day after Uzbek lawmakers appointed Mirziyaev as interim president, setting the long-serving government chief up as the clear favorite to win a five-year term in an early presidential election scheduled for December 4.

Central Election Commission head Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov made the announcement on September 9.

According to Uzbekistan's constitution, the chairman of the upper chamber, the Senate, assumes presidential authority for a period of three months if the president dies or is unable to perform duties.

But Senate Chairman Nigmatulla Yuldashev asked lawmakers to appoint Mirziyaev instead, citing "his many years of experience," and lawmakers supported the proposal, the government said.

The government announced on August 28 that Karimov, 78, had been hospitalized with an undisclosed ailment, which it later said had been a stroke. It announced his death on September 2.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and Reuters
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