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Ambassador Says U.S. Not Stirring Revolution In Tajikistan

(RFE/RL) 1 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Richard Hoagland, the U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan, today said that U.S. efforts to promote democracy in Tajikistan are not aimed at stirring up a democratic revolution there.

Hoagland made his remarks in a meeting with Tajikistan's ruling People's Democratic Party in Dushanbe. The meeting came after he demanded apologies for what he said was anti-U.S. propaganda in the latest issue of "Jumhuriyat," a state-run Tajik newspaper.

Hoagland said the article in question "has no basis in reality" and that whoever ordered it wants to harm U.S.-Tajik relations.

He also urged political pluralism in Tajikistan, saying that democratic change is not a threat to stability.

"Jumhuriyat" published the article on 26 November. It accuses ABA/CEELI, a U.S.-funded legal assistance organization, of criticizing the Tajik government and promoting "dangerous" Western values.

(RFE/RL's Tajik Service with Avesta, Asia-Plus, AP)