Saturday 1 May 2004
April 30, 2004
Uzbekistan: Karimov Elaborates On Recent Attacks, Criticizes West
Uzbek President Islam Karimov has offered his clearest statements to date on the violence that rocked his country a month ago. Speaking to the press following a parliamentary session yesterday, Karimov gave his explanation for who was behind the attacks, where they are based, and when trials will be held for those apprehended. Karimov also criticized the West for questioning his country's commitment to democracy.
April 27, 2004
Central Asia: Is Uzbekistan The Source Of Regional Extremism?
aftermath of bomb blast in Tashkent Mounting concerns about extremism in Central Asia are focusing increasingly on Uzbekistan -- the country where most extremist acts are committed. RFE/RL reports on possible explanations for Uzbekistan's rising role as the hub of Central Asian terrorism.
April 26, 2004
Central Asian Perceptions In Transition
Central Asia is in transition, but it's not the much-ballyhooed transition from Soviet communism to Western capitalism that pundits and advisers spun into a cottage industry in the 1990s. That transition has produced decidedly mixed results. The current transition is one of perception -- from Central Asia as a place where the great powers play out their ambitions to Central Asia as a region to be assessed on its own merits. Recent travels by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and Uzbek President Islam Karimov served to underscore that while a shift is under way, it is not proceeding at the same pace in all places.
April 26, 2004
Central Asia: Nations Set To Sign Deal On Continent-Wide Highway Network
Asian countries are set to sign an agreement at a UN meeting this week in Shanghai that eventually foresees a 140,000-kilometer network of highways linking all parts of Asia. The goal is to forge economic and cultural connections the way the ancient Silk Road opened up remote, land-locked societies centuries ago.
April 22, 2004
Western Press Review: Earth Day, Islamicism In Central Asia, And Croatia's EU Bid
Prague, 22 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- As the world marks the 34th annual Earth Day to raise awareness of environmental issues, several major dailies carry items assessing what is being done -- and what needs to be done -- to address global ecology concerns. An intelligence analysis today looks at what the late-March bombings in Uzbekistan indicate about regional Islamic activity, while other commentary looks at Georgia's plans to reassert control over Adjaria and Croatia's EU bid.
April 20, 2004
Western Press Review: Iraq's Looming 30 June Deadline; Security In Uzbekistan
Prague, 20 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The prospect of greater UN involvement in Iraq elicits several comments in the press today. At a news conference on 13 April, U.S. President George W. Bush said UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would determine the form of the Iraqi interim administration that will accept power from the U.S.-led coalition on the scheduled 30 June transfer date. But several analysts and observers question whether the UN is either able or willing to take on a greater role in the country amid persistent security concerns and continuing militant resistance to the U.S.-led occupation. We also take a look today at Uzbekistan's plan to diversify its security options in the wake of a string of attacks in late March.
April 19, 2004
Uzbekistan: EBRD Freeze On Aid Praised By NGOs
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has suspended most of its funding for public-sector projects in Uzbekistan, saying the Central Asian state has failed to meet democratic and human rights reforms required by the bank's charter. In London, where the EBRD today is conducting its annual board meeting, nongovernmental organizations are welcoming the freeze.
April 19, 2004
Uzbek Authorities Label Soros Foundation 'Undesirable'
Uzbek President Islam Karimov 19 April 2004 -- The Uzbek government said today that George Soros's foundation is "undesirable," one day after the billionaire philanthropist criticized the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and said new regulations are forcing the group's office to close.
April 15, 2004
Uzbekistan: Karimov Makes Rare Visit To Moscow For Talks With Putin
Uzbek President Islam Karimov is in Moscow today for a visit that will include talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a brief statement, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said the talks will focus on international issues of common interest, as well as Uzbek-Russian relations. The visit comes one day after Russia's energy giant Gazprom announced that it will invest the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars into the Uzbek gas industry.