John Kerry woos Uzbekistan’s dictator

#Uzbekistan an important partner in bringing peace, prosperity to Central Asia.  Good discussion w/President Karimov                          ==Secretary of State John Kerry on Twitter 11/1/2015

uzbekistanU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has just returned from a tour of Central Asia, trying to woo leaders of countries under the political influence of Russia and the economic influence of China.

This means tip-toeing around the issue of human rights, particularly in Uzbekistan.  Carol Morello of the Washington Post noted that the State Department’s own reports accuse the Uzbek government of corruption, forced labor, torture and detention of hundreds of political prisoners.

The United States government once sanctioned Uzbekistan for human rights violations, but these sanctions were lifted in 2011 by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to reward Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s long-time ruler, for supporting the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

Kerry said last weekend that there is great potential for increased cooperation between the U.S. and Uzbekistan on trade, security and the environment provided Uzbekistan improves its human rights record.

I doubt that Kerry will press Karimov about the torture of dissidents so long as there is a chance of detaching Karimov from Russia.   Certainly Vladimir Putin will raise no such concerns.

LINKS

Kerry reassures central Asia ‘Stans’ they are not alone by Carol Morello for the Washington Post.

Kerry ties Uzbekistan’s human rights record to cooperation on many fronts by Carol Morello for the Washington Post.

Notorious Uzbek leader welcomes Kerry to Silk Road citadel by Dave Clark for Yahoo News.

Vladimir Putin announces Russia-led Central Asian military force by Roland Oliphant for The Telegraph.

Courted By The U.S. And Russia, Uzbekistan Ignores Critics by Corey Flintoff for National Public Radio.

Politically Motivated Imprisonment in Uzbekistan by Human Rights Watch.

Report on Uzbekistan  by Freedom House

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