Saturday, 05 May 2001

UZBEK PRESIDENT: RUSSIA IS "STRATEGIC PARTNER"

Published in News Digest

By empty (5/5/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)

The Uzbek President, Islam Karimov, has stressed the importance of cooperation with Russia in combatting armed incursions into his country by Islamic militants. Speaking before talks with President Putin, he said he viewed Russia as his country's strategic partner and a security guarantor. Correspondents say Mr Karimov's visit to Moscow, the first since 1998, is a reflection of Russia's renewed interest in the Central Asian region and of Uzbekistan's desire for Russian military support.
The Uzbek President, Islam Karimov, has stressed the importance of cooperation with Russia in combatting armed incursions into his country by Islamic militants. Speaking before talks with President Putin, he said he viewed Russia as his country's strategic partner and a security guarantor. Correspondents say Mr Karimov's visit to Moscow, the first since 1998, is a reflection of Russia's renewed interest in the Central Asian region and of Uzbekistan's desire for Russian military support. An Uzbek defence spokesman said later it had been agreed that Tashkent would get Russian assault rifles and artillery systems needed totackle militants in exchange for supplies of gas, cotton, and fruit and vegetables. Uzbekistan resists the notion of Russian forces on its soil, in contrast to Tajikistan, where twenty-five thousand Russian troops guard its borders. (BBC)
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