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Czech President Wants New Date For Uzbek Visit

Czech President Milos Zeman (left) says he promoted Uzbek President Islam Karimov's visit for economic reasons.
President Milos Zeman wants a new date to be set for Uzbek President Islam Karimov's visit to the Czech Republic.

Talking to Czech radio on February 16, Milos Zeman said that while he disagreed with the reported human rights violation in Uzbekistan, he promoted Karimov's trip for the sake of bilateral trade.

He added that seven agreements and contracts worth 15 billion Czech crowns ($750 million) could have been signed during Karimov's scheduled visit this week.

Last week, Czech officials announced that Karimov had postponed his official visit to the Czech Republic, originally scheduled for February 20.

The visit had been criticized by rights group and others upset that Karimov's 25-year regime had witnessed instances of police torture, the jailing of political opponents, and forced labor in the cotton industry.

Based on reporting by CTK and