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Uzbek President Removes Veteran Defense Minister

Uzbek Interior Minister Abdusalom Azizov was named the new defense minister.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has fired the defense minister who was a holdover from the previous administration and appointed an ally to the position, in a reshuffle of senior security officials.

Abdusalom Azizov has been appointed defense minister, replacing Qobul Berdiev, the president's office said without explaining the reasons for the reshuffle.

Berdiev had served as defense minister since 2008, having been appointed by strongman leader Islam Karimov, who died in September last year after running the former Soviet republic for 27 years.

Azizov has been promoted by Mirziyoev, who named him interior minister shortly after being elected president in December.

Pulat Bobojonov, previously a regional governor, was named interior minister in the September 4 reshuffle.

Rustam Inoyatov, the head of the Uzbekistan's SNB state security service, remains the only Karimov-era senior security official still in office.

With reporting by Reuters