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Uzbek President In Moscow On Two-Day Visit

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has arrived in the Russian capital at the start of a two-day official visit.

Talks in Moscow between Karimov and Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 26 are expected to focus on ways to boost bilateral ties as well as regional and global issues, according to the Kremlin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the two presidents had an "informal" meeting and posed for official photographs ahead of a dinner on April 25.

The Russian president's official website said Karimov's visit was taking place "at Vladimir Putin's invitation."

Karimov has been in power since before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, when Uzbekistan gained independence from Moscow.

He rules Uzbekistan with an iron fist, tolerating little if any dissent.

A recent U.S. State Department report accused Uzbek security forces of the "torture and abuse of detainees."

Amnesty International recently accused Moscow of "lending a helping hand" to torture in Uzbekistan by aiding in the forcible returns of hundreds of Uzbek nationals from Russia.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS