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German Foreign Ministry Delegation Visits Uzbekistan

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (file photo) (epa) October 4, 2006 -- A German Foreign Ministry delegation has arrived in Tashkent for talks with Uzbek officials.

Uzbekistan's official media say the German visitors today met with Parliament Speaker Erkin Khalilov and other members of the legislature.

Reports say the German delegation was in Turkmenistan on October 2 and will be visiting Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan in the coming days.

The German Embassy in Dushanbe today said Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will tour Central Asian states later this month.

Germany has been reportedly pondering the crafting of a single European Union strategy for Central Asia when it takes over the bloc's rotating presidency on January 1.

Following the May 2005 bloody military crackdown in Andijon, EU governments outlawed arms sales to Tashkent and imposed a one-year visa ban on top Uzbek officials they hold responsible for the massacre. The ban is due to expire on November 14.

(UzA,, News Central Asia, Asia-Plus)