Uzbek-US relations and the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan were the topics discussed by Uzbek President Islam Karimov and US Secretary of State Colin Powell during a meeting in Tashkent. After the meeting, which was staged in the Uzbek presidential residence Oskaroi, Karimov told journalists he was "very optimistic" about the prospects of relations between the United States and Uzbekistan. According to the Uzbek president, Powell had displayed a good knowledge of the region's situation with human rights, freedom of the press, etc., as well as of the problems arising from the military operation in Afghanistan. "The talks proved complete mutual understanding -- this goes, in the first place, for the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan," added Karimov.
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