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Former Uzbek 'First Daughter' Steps Down As UNESCO Envoy

Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva

The younger daughter of the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov says she is leaving her post as Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO on February 2, some five months after she initially announced her intention to step down.

“Today is my last working day as an ambassador of Uzbekistan to UNESCO,” Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva wrote on her social-media accounts on February 2, adding that she will continue working on “projects in the field of culture, education, science, and the environment.”

Karimova-Tillyaeva added that she will also “continue humanitarian work” to help children with disabilities through a children’s charity organization she founded in 2002.

Karimova-Tillyaeva, 39, had announced in August that she was planning to step down as an envoy to UNESCO, the UN Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, to “focus on my family...and programs being implemented by the Islam Karimov Foundation.”

Karimov, an authoritarian former communist party leader, ruled the Central Asian nation for 27 years, ruthlessly cracking down on dissent. His death was announced on September 2, 2016.

His eldest daughter Gulnara Karimova, who once was a high-profile socialite, pop singer, fashion designer, and diplomat, is in state custody.

Uzbek authorities said last year that Gulnara Karimova, 45, was sentenced to five years of “restricted freedom” in 2015 after she was convicted of crimes including extortion, embezzlement, and tax evasion.

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