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EU Officials Want Uzbek Aid Canceled

The U.S. wants Uzbekistan to grant greater access than it did to this diplomatic mission Strasbourg, 9 June 2005 -- European lawmakers today called for the European Union to cut direct aid to Uzbekistan until it allows an independent inquiry into last month's violence in eastern Uzbekistan.

Lawmakers urged the EU to funnel aid to Uzbekistan through nongovernmental organizations, and to suspend direct aid to Uzbek government bodies until a "genuine" international, independent probe into the violence is launched.

Lawmakers also called on the United States to suspend talks on an agreement that would allow it to maintain a military base in Uzbekistan in exchange for financial benefits, and look elsewhere in the region.

Uzbek authorities say 173 people were killed when troops opened fire on protesters in the city of Andijon on 13 May, and reject an international inquiry. International rights groups and opposition political parties say hundreds more may have died.

The EU, the U.S. and NATO have all called for an independent investigation into the violence.


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