Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 29th June 2005.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Conservative, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what efforts he is making to lobby for an end to the 'sizdan ugina, bizdan bugina' culture of public officials in Uzbekistan; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Europe)

Good governance, both economic and political, is a key aspect of our dialogue with Uzbekistan. We have consistently and repeatedly brought to the attention of senior Government figures the importance of transparency in governance and the negative effects of corruption. In a speech to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC on 18 May 2005, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary called upon the Uzbek Government to develop a much more open and pluralistic society in order to address the root causes of the recent disturbances in Andizhan. This message has also been taken forward in Uzbekistan. On 15 May, our ambassador to Tashkent raised with Deputy Foreign Minister Nematov the importance of political and economic reform in the light of events in Andizhan.

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