Germany’s Uzbekistan policy
Germany’s contingent of troops will stay in Uzbekistan, as Nathan reported some while ago. I held this post back as the German media tends either to overlook Central Asia and the German involvement in the region or comes up with valuable stories rather late.
Marcus Bensmann called the permission to stay an early Christmas present Tashkent gave to Berlin. Friedbert PflÃ¼ger, CDU politician in the Foreign Committee, in return promised the Uzbek government to carefully consider Karimov’s stance on events in Andijon earlier this year. What looks like a shady deal at first sight demands some more elaboration. Luckily, PflÃ¼ger was quick to respond to allegations that he traded ignorance towards human rights abuses for a military base. As directnews reports (my translation):
The German government was not blackmailed because of Termez, assured PflÃ¼ger. About a week ago, he met with the Uzbek government and reached an agreement, according to which Tashkent will not carry out on an earlier threat to withdraw overflight rights for some EU countries. Germany will also be able to further use Termez as a supply base [for its Afghanistan operations]. PflÃ¼ger said that he assured Tashkent that the Uzbek view of events in Andijon will be be considered in a fair manner. One could for example, under the chairmanship of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung or the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, set up a “round table”, on which Tashkent could articulate its point of view on the events [in Andijon in March].
PflÃ¼ger said, it is important to revive the dialogue [with Uzbekistan]. Germany and the EU have no interest in isolating Uzbekistan in a similar fashion than Belorussia, so that it would have to focus all foreign policy toward Moscow. He told this President Karimov. The German delegation did not depart from the official EU-line in demanding an independent enquiry. “There is no deal along the lines Termes against Interior Minister [referring to the recent visa for Almatow] or departing from the official EU-policy towards Uzbekistan”