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Washington Says Uzbekistan Seeks Stability In Relations

A senior U.S. diplomat says Uzbekistan wants to maintain a stable relationship with the United States as it goes through its first leadership change since independence.

Daniel Rosenblum, deputy assistant secretary for Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State, made the statement after meeting Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov late on September 5 in Tashkent.

"During my meeting with Komilov he expressed strong desire for stability in the bilateral relationship so I took it as an important message," Rosenblum said.

It was the first visit by a U.S. diplomat since the death of President Islam Karimov last week.

"I am here in Tashkent these few days representing the U.S. government so that I can express condolences on the death of President Karimov and also to show our continued commitment to our partnership with Uzbekistan," Rosenblum told reporters.

The U.S. diplomat also said that "we know that any change in the leadership of any country is a complexity, but such a transitional periods are an opportunity for the country to find ways to adapt and grow stronger."

He added that Washington remained "committed to partnership with Uzbekistan, to its sovereignty, security, future and ensuring rights for all its citizens."

With reporting by RFE/RL Central Asian Newsletter and Reuters
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