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Uzbekistan: Direction Unknown

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Uzbek President Islam Karimov, greeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at his presidential residence in Tashkent this week, put a rosy glow on his country's future with Washington.

"We highly value relations between the U.S.A. and Uzbekistan," he said in comments broadcast on Uzbek state television's first channel on December 2. "We note with great satisfaction the dynamics and content of cooperation."

A presidential press release lauded "close ties" between the two countries' governments, and highlighted "dozens of joint energy, light industry, and transportation projects, and that there are more than 200 enterprises in Uzbekistan that have American capital in them."

But despite Karimov's optimism, observers are puzzled about Tashkent's lack of a clear direction when it comes to its own future and with its relations with the United States and other countries. And this failure by Uzbekistan, they say, could have negative implications on the effort to establish stability in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Uzbekistan: Direction Unknown

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