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Czech President Zeman, Karimov Expected In Astana Next Week

Czech President Milos Zeman and Uzbek President Islam Karimov are both expected to visit Kazakhstan next week.

The visits come after Karimov postponed a trip to the Czech Republic that had been due to take place in February amid criticism by activists over Uzbekistan's poor human rights record.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's press service told RFE/RL on November 20 that Zeman is due to arrive in Astana on November 24, while Karimov is expected on November 25.

The press service said the visiting presidents will meet separately with Nazarbaev and that no trilateral talks are scheduled.

The press service declined to comment on whether Zeman and Karimov would meet.

Zeman's office said nobody at the Czech president's press service was immediately available.

After Karimov's trip was postponed indefinitely, Czech trade unions, investors, and rights groups urged Zeman to cancel the Uzbek president's visit altogther.

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