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Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Diplomats visit Uzbekistan

From SBS:

A group of foreign diplomats have arrived in the Uzbek city of Andijan to get a first-hand look at the site of clashes between protesters and security forces on Friday that left hundreds dead.

The 36 diplomats, from countries including the United States, France and Russia, include ambassadors and other senior embassy staff, and are accompanied on the government-organised trip by a deputy foreign minister of Uzbekistan and 15 other officials, along with 30 journalists.

The diplomats visited the Andijan police headquarters before moving on to inspect a prison.

However the BBC reports that they will not be able to walk freely around the town or talk to local people without supervision.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called on Uzbekistan to open its society and to reform.

"Nobody is asking any government to deal with terrorists," she said.

"The issue ... is that it is a society that needs openness, it needs reform."

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