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Europarliament Rejects Call For Extension Of All Uzbek Sanctions

Local residents pray near the bodies of casualties of the May 14, 2005, violence (AFP) October 27, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The European Parliament has rejected a call to renew all of the sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan after a military crackdown that is thought to have killed hundreds in May 2005.

The sanctions were implemented in late 2005 and include an embargo on arms sales and a visa ban on 12 Uzbek officials whom the EU holds responsible for the bloodshed.

In a resolution adopted on October 26, the European Parliament urges the EU's General Affairs and External Relations Council "to make a considered decision with a view to improving future relations with Uzbekistan" but to continue an embargo on arms sales and military transfers, according to official EU websites.

However, a majority of lawmakers voted against extending the visa ban and expanding it to President Islam Karimov and other Uzbek officials.

Rights group say the crackdown claimed the lives of many hundreds of peaceful demonstrators. Uzbek officials insist that fewer than 200 people died and that all the deaths were armed insurgents or security forces.

The General Affairs and External Relations Council is due on November 13 to consider whether to extend those sanctions.

Uzbekistan, Russia, And The West

Uzbekistan, Russia, And The West

President Karimov (left) with Russian President Putin in July 2005 (epa)

BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: One of the ramifications of the May 2005 bloodshed in Andijon has been a souring of relations between Tashkent and the West, accompanied by a raproachment between Uzbekistan and Russia. Following sharp U.S. and European criticism of the Andijon crackdown, Uzbekistan kicked the United States out of the Karshi-Khanabad air base and began actively courting Moscow.
"Today, we are reaching an unprecedented level in our relationship," Uzbek President Islam Karimov said during a November 2005 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which the leaders signed a strategic-partnership agreement. "I understand and we all understand in Uzbekistan that it is unprecedented that Russia signs such a partnership agreement with Uzbekistan."


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THE COMPLETE STORY: A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.


For an annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions, click here.

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