President Trump Must Urge Uzbekistan to Implement Overdue Human Rights Reforms

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 17, 2018

President Donald Trump met with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoy Wednesday and reportedly pitched the world leader on expanding press freedoms and human rights, senior administration officials told the New York Times.

Trump's reply: "I agree 100 percent". The country sits on Afghanistan's northern border and provides a crucial supply route for USA forces. The two leaders were expected to discuss the situation in Afghanistan as the USA aims to bring the Taliban to the peace table. He has shed some of the repressive legacies of his predecessor, releasing some political prisoners, lifting restrictions on foreign currency exchange and ordering an end to the practice of compulsory cotton-harvesting work for students and others criticized by human rights groups.

Even still, the meeting between Mirziyoy and Trump was closed to reporters until, just hours before the sit down was scheduled to begin, the White House opened a portion of remarks to the in-town traveling pool.

Uzbekistan's leader says his country and the USA are developing a "new era" of cooperation.

Trump said the two nations had forged strong ties on trade and the military, pointing to Uzbekistan's "purchase of equipment and military equipment from the United States".

"We commend President Mirziyoyev on the release of all imprisoned journalists in Uzbekistan and call on him to continue his reforms by allowing all Uzbek journalists forced into exile after the 2005 Andijan crisis to return home and resume working without fear of retaliation", said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova.

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