In the underwear department of your favorite apparel store, it may seem like a simple choice – Fruit of the Loom or Hanes. But half a world away your decision could affect whether a child goes to school, or is marched off to cotton fields and put to work.
A powerful earthquake registering 6.2 on the Richter scale struck Ferghana Valley early July 20, affecting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The epicenter of the quake was about 45 kilometers south of the Uzbek city of Ferghana.
Uzbekistan wound up 2010 still quarrelling with its neighbors over water, energy, and security issues. Tashkent cut off gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan, which is still struggling to recover from political and ethnic unrest, and provided only 72,000 cubic meters per day instead of the usual 90,000 cubic meters, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) reported.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake visited Uzbekistan November 9-10, 2010, his third trip since assuming his current position. Little information was provided from the U.S.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on November 12 in the Caspian resort city of Turkmenbashi, state and regional media reported. The Turkmen leader said relations between the two countries "have a great future," especially given the trade turnover of more than $2 billion this year, with 600 Turkish companies registered in Turkmenistan.
Uzbekistan has been leaning hard on Tajikistan in recent weeks, making a number of harsh moves that regional analysts say are motivated by opposition to Dushanbe’s plans for the Roghun hydroelectric plant, perceived as threatening Uzbekistan's intensive downstream water demand for cotton irrigation.
Uzbekistan is still receiving U.S. military aid, despite efforts by the U.S. Congress to impose restrictions due to the human rights situation, according to a report from Open Society Foundations (OSF) by Lora Lumpe. Congress first imposed restrictions on military aid in 2002, and then the State Department cut off aid in 2004 when it could not certify under U.S.
Elections in Kyrgyzstan on October 10 went surprisingly peacefully, according to international monitors and EurasiaNet correspondents who covered the poll. Ethnic Uzbeks in the Osh region appeared able to cast their ballots, despite fears that they might be intimidated or reluctant to participate after so many unresolved issues following the pogroms in June.