German President Urged To Push Uzbekistan For Further Reforms During Visit

2 years ago tajikistannewsgazette.com Comments Off on German President Urged To Push Uzbekistan For Further Reforms During Visit

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has arrived in Uzbekistan for a three-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Steinmeier's trip is also seen as part of an effort to reinforce Uzbekistan's path to reform after President Shavkat Mirziyoev came to power in 2016 and to end long years of relative isolation for the Central Asian country.

Mirziyoev became president after longtime autocratic leader Islam Karimov's death was announced in September 2016.

Since then, Mirziyoev has cultivated warmer ties with Uzbekistan's neighbors and countries further afield.

Mirziyoev has also sought to bolster Uzbekistan's struggling economy and has taken steps to implement reforms in Uzbekistan, where rights abuses were widespread under Karimov.

Ahead of Steinmeier's visit, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the German president to stress that the "positive changes" that have taken place in Uzbekistan are "small steps on a long road," citing the "vast" powers that the security services have retained and "persistent reports that arbitrary detention, torture, and other ill-treatment in custody are widespread."

During his visit to Berlin in January, Mirziyoev said he wanted to bring relations with Germany to "a tangibly new and higher level," while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country wants to be Uzbekistan's "reliable partner."

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has arrived in Uzbekistan for a three-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Steinmeier's trip is also seen as part of an effort to reinforce Uzbekistan's path to reform after President Shavkat Mirziyoev came to power in 2016 and to end long years of relative isolation for the Central Asian country.

Mirziyoev became president after longtime autocratic leader Islam Karimov's death was announced in September 2016.

Since then, Mirziyoev has cultivated warmer ties with Uzbekistan's neighbors and countries further afield.

Mirziyoev has also sought to bolster Uzbekistan's struggling economy and has taken steps to implement reforms in Uzbekistan, where rights abuses were widespread under Karimov.

Ahead of Steinmeier's visit, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the German president to stress that the "positive changes" that have taken place in Uzbekistan are "small steps on a long road," citing the "vast" powers that the security services have retained and "persistent reports that arbitrary detention, torture, and other ill-treatment in custody are widespread."

During his visit to Berlin in January, Mirziyoev said he wanted to bring relations with Germany to "a tangibly new and higher level," while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country wants to be Uzbekistan's "reliable partner."

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.