Out of Uzbekistan – Links

by Ben on 8/1/2005

Andy posted yesterday that the Uzbek government handed an eviction note to the American embassy in Tashkent last Friday, ordering to vacate the K2 base within six months.

Here some links to commentary in the international media:
UK Guardian’s Nick Paton Walsh quotes Craig Murray on the US exit:

“Karimov took the decision years ago not to have democracy and capitalism, it just took the US a lot longer to work that out. If they had any dignity they would have jumped before they were pushed.”

The Christian Science Monitor draws positive conclusions:

The US has now made a strategic choice with Uzbekistan to not abandon long-term American ideals on democracy for the sake of short-term tactical advantage in combating terrorists.

RIA Novosti’s story on official reactions towards the refugee crisis further verifies that US involvement in relocating the 400-odd people might have triggered the Uzbek move on K2.

The UK Times has an op-ed, casting light on the new geostrategical situation.

In many stories, one can find a pretty grave factual error: The US has no base in Tajikistan. Presently, the U.S. military only has a ‘gas and go’ agreement with Tajikistan that allows American planes to refuel in Tajik airfields on their way to Afghanistan. There is a small contingent of French troops in Dushanbe.

As there are also German troops stationed in Termez, close to the Afghan border, I checked the German press for hints how the future of this logistical support base might look. Reuters has the story:

There is still co-operation [with Uzbekistan], a spokesman of the German ministry of defence, said today [Monday]. The contractual basis is solid and indefinite, and there are no signals that this will change.

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