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EU Experts In Tashkent For Andijon Talks

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, December 13, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Experts from the European Union are continuing discussions with Uzbek officials about the bloodshed in May 2005 in the eastern city of Andijon, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reported.

The EU delegation arrived in Tashkent on December 11 and was due to meet with, among others, representatives of the Prosecutor-General's Office.

Talking to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service from Tashkent, Finnish diplomat Pekka Oinonen denied media reports that Uzbek authorities were preventing the European experts from traveling to Andijon.

Oinonen, who heads the EU delegation as a representative of the bloc's chair, said a visit would "probably" depend on whether "an awfully bad fog" lifts.

EU officials insist the trip is not an investigation into the Andijon events, which Uzbek authorities blame on alleged foreign-funded armed Islamists.

Rights activists say Uzbek security troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians when reasserting control after unrest in the city. The government in turn says 187 people died.

Following President Islam Karimov's refusal to authorize an international probe into the events, the EU last year imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan.

The bloc on November 13 extended the measures for another six months.

However, it agreed to resume technical talks with Uzbekistan in return for a pledge to discuss the Andijon events and to launch a dialogue on human rights issues.

Aftermath Of Andijon

Aftermath Of Andijon

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


An annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions.