Uzbekistan

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th July 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 the results were of the 15 May meeting between the UK Ambassador to Tashkent and the Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister, Nematov on political and economic reform; and what actions have resulted from this meeting.

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

Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister Nematov requested a meeting with our Ambassador to Tashkent, David Moran, following my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's 14 May statement on Andizhan. A copy of the statement is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website: www.fco.gov.uk/policy/news/press-releases. Mr. Moran told Mr. Nematov that a peaceful solution to the Andizhan situation would need to be accompanied by progress on both economic and political reforms. He noted that Uzbek President Karimov had mentioned such reforms in his 28 January 2005 speech to Parliament. A number of decrees have been issued in June by the Uzbek Government, which if implemented, might reduce the burden on businesses, for example by reducing the scope for official inspections.

Uzbek Foreign Minister Ganiev has undertaken to discuss these areas with EU Heads of Mission in Tashkent. We look forward to this opportunity for dialogue towards reform. In the meantime Mr. Moran has also had meetings with both the Deputy Interior Minister to discuss prison reforms, and the Deputy Justice Minister to discuss judicial reform and the abolition of the death penalty.

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