US grabs Uzbekistan cooperation on Afghanistan during Holbrooke visit

Uzbekistan's leader told a U.S. envoy the Central Asian nation was determined to cooperate with the United States against the Taliban from Afghanistan.

US grabs Uzbekistan cooperation on Afghanistan during Holbrooke visit

Uzbekistan's leader told a U.S. envoy the Central Asian nation was determined to cooperate with the United States against the Taliban from Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan now serves a vital supply route for NATO occupation in Afghanistan.

During his talks with U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said he was ready for more dialogue, state media reported late on Friday.

Holbrooke was quoted as telling Karimov that he too wanted to "strengthen cooperation with Uzbekistan over "security".

Holbrooke, in Central Asia on his first visit in his current capacity, also visited Kyrgyzstan on Friday and was due to travel to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan this weekend.

Contacts between Uzbekistan and the United States were virtually frozen for years after 2005, when Washington condemned the Central Asian nation for firing on protesters in the town of Andizhan. Witnesses said hundreds of people died in the event.

The improvement in ties has led analysts to suggest Washington may seek to reopen its air base in Uzbekistan, which was used for attacks in Afghanistan but was closed by Karimov in retaliation for the U.S. criticism of the Andizhan events.

Reuters

Last Mod: 21 Şubat 2010, 11:45
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