26 july 2017

Central Asia news

Uzbek Foreign Ministry on political prisoners, hydroelectric station, and military cooperation

06.07.2017 20:19 msk

Ferghana


Abdulaziz Kamilov
Yesterday, Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov answered 39 questions during a dialogue with his fellow citizens for almost three hours which was broadcasted live by major Uzbek TV channels. The questions were sent to him in advance via the virtual office, to the official e-mail, as well as through the pages of the Foreign Ministry on Facebook and through the channel in Telegram.

In particular, when answering a question about the release of political prisoners, Mr Kamilov made it clear that there are no such prisoners in Uzbekistan.

“There is a list that ‘walks’ between various human rights organisations that includes allegedly political prisoners. We repeatedly gave information about their criminal activities, but, nevertheless, we have certain norms of humane treatment of prisoners, and recently a number of those persons who are considered to be political prisoners have been released,” Podrobno.uz quotes the minister.

Mr Kamilov said that the release of such prisoners will continue, but not in the framework of any campaign, but for a number of serious reasons: state of health, amnesty, a manifestation of a certain humanism, age. In each situation there is a specific person according to which the Uzbek Foreign Ministry is ready to give information, and “in this respect, we are quite open. Everything is done on the basis of the approved criminal law, we do not see any violations,” the minister said.


Photo by the press-service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan

A resident of the Kashkadarya region raised a question about the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric station in Tajikistan. As Ozodlik (Uzbek service of Radio Liberty) reports, Mr Kamilov said that Tashkent “in large, not against the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric power station,” but the national interests of Uzbekistan should be taken into account when the project is implemented. Meanwhile, according to the Sputnik news agency, Mr Kamilov said that Uzbekistan's position on the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric station remains unchanged.

Earlier, Uzbekistan was categorically against the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric power station stating about the danger of a dam breakage in connection with a possible earthquake. In 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov said that Uzbekistan “never and under no circumstances” will support the Rogun hydroelectric project.

During the discussion, Mr Kamilov touched upon the possibility of returning Uzbekistan to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which it left in 2012. “There is no such a question of renewing membership in the CSTO, this issue was not discussed during the state visit of the president to Russia. And in the long term, there are no plans to discuss and revise this issue,” the head of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.

He recalled that, in accordance with the “Foreign Policy Concept,” Uzbekistan maintains non-aligned status and will not allow the deployment of military bases of other countries on its territory, and “Uzbek army will not participate in military operations in Syria and elsewhere.”

As the press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry reports, most of the questions to the minister concerned issues related to citizenship, the restoration of documents with their loss, the search for relatives and friends, assistance in various difficult life situations. Upon completion of the airtime, Mr Kamilov answered questions from media representatives.

Fergana News Agency