Condoleezza Rice dumps Uzbekistan

The US administration tries to isolate the former Soviet republic from the rest of the world

Tashkent, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, has been struck out of the list of Asian cities for the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit during her forthcoming tour. The US administration apparently decided not to pay attention to Uzbekistan: the statement regarding Ms. Rice's changing plans was released from Assistant Secretary of State, Daniel Fried. The top official said that Condoleezza Rice decided to indefinitely delay her visit to Uzbekistan. Fried added that the Secretary of Sate has made a “wise decision not to go there.”

It goes without saying that there was a certain reason for Ms. Rice to cancel her scheduled trip to Uzbekistan. According to Daniel Fried, the USA is rather concerned about the events in the Uzbek town of Andijan, which made headlines worldwide in May of the current year. The policy run by the Uzbek authorities has supposedly become another reason for Condoleezza Rice to change the itinerary of her Asian tour. Daniel Fried stressed out that the US administration was concerned not only about the events in Andijan alone, but about the reaction that those events caused in the international community.

In addition, Mr. Fried believes that the USA feels the climate of fear in Uzbekistan, which is another reason of concerns for the Bush's administration. Daniel Fried concluded his speech with two other reasons, which supposedly made Condoleezza Rice unpack her bags: the pressure on non-governmental organizations and the closing of exchange programs in Uzbekistan.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was going to visit the capitals of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Asian republics of the former USSR) and even Afghanistan within the framework of her Central Asian tour. The journey is slated to start on October 10 and end only three days later, on October 13. As long as Uzbekistan is no longer on Ms. Rice's list, the final itinerary looks as follows: Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan.

The major goal of Condoleezza Rice's visits to Asian states is to show the USA's support to them. The support, however, is to be exercised only to those, who appreciate it and to those who is going to conduct necessary political and economic reforms, as an official spokesman for the US State Department, Sean McCormack said.

According to Mr. McCormack, Condoleezza Rice conducts negotiations regarding a whole range of questions connected with economic development, security and the building of democracy.

The forthcoming tour will become the “Asian debut” for Ms. Rice. The US Secretary of State plans to have meetings with the President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

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Author`s name Olga Savka