More on the Yeltsin-Karimov Relationship

by Laurence on 6/1/2005

From a 1998 RFE/RL Report:

Uzbekistan’s President in Moscow agrees on containment of islamic fundamentalism
Date: 06.05.1998
Type of event:

Details: Uzbek President Islam Karimov on his first official visit to Russia, met with Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin on 6 May. Prior to their meeting Yeltsin spoke of a need for the two countries to strengthen ties which have seriously deteriorated in recent years. Yeltsin later told Karimov, Russia is “aware of your influence on the countries that surround you.” During their meeting the two presidents promised to sign a ten-year economic cooperation agreement when Yeltsin visits Uzbekistan in October. They also signed an agreement for cooperation in building Il-76 and Il-78 aircraft and an agreement guaranteeing the rights of each others journalists on the other’s soil. In a surprise announcement following the meeting, Karimov said his country, Russia and Tajikistan will coordinate efforts to combat the spread of fundamentalism in Central Asia. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov gave his consent by phone.

Following talks with Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 6 May, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said he was “completely satisfied with the results,” Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported. Yeltsin said, “We agreed on everything.” The two agreed to fight the spread of what the called “fundamentalism” both in Central Asia and the northern Caucasus, though neither elaborated on what form that cooperation would take. They did say both their countries would increase efforts to help Tajikistan, the third party in the fight against fundamentalism, recover following its five-year civil war. Yeltsin and Karimov expressed their alarm at renewed fighting in Afghanistan after the Afghan peace talks broke down earlier this week and called on the warring parties to resume negotiations. Concerning an agreement on the status of journalists, Russian presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii said it would ” liquidate the existing legal vacuum and create safer conditions for the work of Russian journalists in Uzbekistan.”

Sources: RFE/RL Newsline 06.05.98

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