Karimov urged the West not to 'interfere in our affairs under the guise of promoting democracy' (AFP)
March 20, 2006 -- Uzbek President Islam Karimov has criticized Western countries and organizations for waging an "information war" against his country.
As an example, Karimov pointed to last month's decision by the World Bank to stop lending money to Uzbekistan.
He said the bank's decision was based on inaccurate statistics concocted to punish Tashkent following the bloody events in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon in May.
Karimov said the West has been misled into believing the protesters were demonstrating against economic conditions when in fact participants were "bandits and terrorists."
He said the bank's figures were part of a "desire to suggest to the international community" that the situation in Uzbekistan was bad and that a repetition of the Andijon events is likely.
Karimov urged the West not to "interfere in our affairs under the guise of promoting democracy."