Uzbekistan's president Islam Karimov delivered his annual Army Day message on January 11, and along with the predictable encomia to the country's armed forces, Karimov made a few interesting statements vis-a-vis how he sees Uzbekistan's geopolitics. (Speech translated from Russian by BBC Monitoring)
As he has frequently, Karimov says that the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan will pose a threat to Uzbekistan:
In the current difficult circumstances, the international community is particularly concerned about the danger of the spread of nuclear technology and weapons of mass destruction as well as about growing confrontation, political and religious radicalism and extremism, and the ongoing conflicts in the immediate vicinity of our borders; in the first place, tension is growing in connection with the forthcoming withdrawal of ISAF from Afghanistan before and after 2014.
But this is an interesting addition:
The situation is seriously being exacerbated by rivalry of external forces in the region. Serious challenges and threats are emerging due to the intensification of activities by armed gangs and subversive and terrorist groups in border areas, as well as because of social and economic problems, political and interethnic conflicts that could lead to destabilization of the military-political situation.
It's not clear what he means here by "rivalry of external forces," but my best guess is that it has to do with Russia's plans to give a huge military aid package to Kyrgyzstan, and a somewhat more modest one to Tajikistan, with the intention of countering what it sees as U.S. influence in Uzbekistan.
And he endorses neutrality...
Uzbekistan has made clear its stance on distancing from various military-political blocs and alliances, on its strong position to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and on refusing to deploy in its territory of foreign military bases, as well as on its independent, consistent and active foreign policy.
... while emphasizing the importance of building up the country's armed forces with help from "foreign partner countries."
The focus should be made on targets for further fitting out the Armed Forces with modern types of weapons and equipment. In this field it is necessary to significantly improve and expand the scope of international military-technical cooperation with foreign partner countries.
Uzbekistan has been getting military aid from not only the U.S., but also China, but it's not clear to what extent either of those partnerships have materially improved the capabilities of Uzbekistan's armed forces.
Overall, it seems like Karimov is trying to walk a narrow line between neutrality (which it seems like he really wants) and partnership with non-Russian countries (which he realizes is a necessary evil if he wants to withstand Russian pressure). It'll be interesting to see how he manages.