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EU Ministers To Voice Concern On Uzbekistan

May 15, 2006 -- European Union foreign ministers are expected to express their continuing concern about developments in Uzbekistan during a two-day meeting that opens today in Brussels.

EU High Representative for the Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana last week expressed disappointment that Uzbek authorities have still not supported the holding of a credible inquiry into the bloody crackdown in the eastern city of Andijon just over one year ago.

The EU has already taken several measures against the Uzbek authorities over Andijon, including suspending a partnership and cooperation agreement with Tashkent and enacting a visa ban on some Uzbek officials.

The Uzbek government says 187 people -- mostly what officials described as Islamic terrorists or members of the security forces -- died when Uzbek forces opened fire to quell an uprising in Andijon on May 13, 2005. Human rights groups and witnesses say hundreds of mostly unarmed civilians may have been killed.

(RFE/RL 15.v.06)

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