What are the developing sides of Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan - On the Silk Road

history

Uzbekistan has a greater wealth of historical resources than its neighbors (historically significant cities, symbols, monuments, manuscripts, etc.), which are used intensively for the creation of a new post-Soviet nation-state with the corresponding awareness and undoubtedly serve the stability of the regime. "The use of regional Central Asian cultural and historical symbols is so eagerly pursued here that the impression of an occupation of Central Asian regional history by the nation state of Uzbekistan arises," as Uwe Halbach writes very aptly in his article "Ideological underpinning of sovereignty".

To get a first visual overview of the course of history from the beginnings to the present in the area of ​​today's Uzbekistan, it is worth looking at the atlas of Uzbekistan.

Today's Uzbekistan is located in the area that has a millennia-old history with ancient state traditions. In its present form, Uzbekistan did not emerge as a Soviet republic until the 1920s. The following is a brief overview of important historical events from antiquity to 2011.

Even in ancient times, nomads and oasis farmers shaped the land called Bactria. There were also Greek influences through the Alexander empire in the 4th century. v. BC, as well as Buddhist influences thanks to the world-famous Silk Road and proximity to India. Since ancient times, part of the most important land route between Europe and the Middle East to East Asia, the Silk Road, ran through what is now Uzbekistan.

Islamization. In the course of the Arab wars of conquest, Islam prevailed from the beginning of the 8th century. After the victory of the Arab-Persian caliphate over the Chinese in 751, Bactria finally belonged to the Islamic world. The following period was determined by the Samanids in Bukhara (819 to 1005), a dynasty that belonged to the Arab-Persian caliphate. Today, neighboring Tajikistan claims the historical legacy of the Samanid dynasty for itself.

From 999 onwards, Turkish khans of the Qarluken tribe (known as Qarachanids) ruled Bukhara. Further to the west, the Oghuz tribe pushed south between the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea; they reappeared in Khorassan as Seljuks in 1040. After 1141, the Khorezm Shahs and their rivals, Kara Kitai, who had fled China, determined politics in the region.

"Mongol Storm". In 1220 the Mongols came. Despite many rivalries among the tribes, the era before the Mongol storm was considered a culturally very high-quality time with flourishing cities and extensive trade. The Mongol period was ruinous, the city population had to endure wars among the nomad tribes, which shattered the country. The rest periods were hardly enough for the reconstruction.

Timur. The last of these destroyers was Timur (Tamerlan) (r. 1370-1405). He generously supported his two capitals, Bukhara and Samarkand, with money, artists and craftsmen from foreign countries. His buildings are still present today. Then came his grandson, Ulug Beg, and the country blossomed under him shortly before the arrival of the real Uzbeks. The Uzbeks themselves were originally a Turkic people with common roots with the Kazakhs. Together they came from (West) Siberia. Her name is derived from Uzbek Khan. The Uzbeks saw the White Horde of Scheibani Khan as their home. Scheibani Khan conquered Bukhara and Samarkand from the descendants of Timur in 1500 and founded the Uzbek Empire. But only the victory over Babur, who was born in Andizhan near Gishduwan / Bukhara in 1512, secured the Uzbeks the possession of the land between Amu-darja and Syr-darja, the north remained with the allied Kazakhs. The Uzbek Empire benefited from the caravans in the 1600s. The economy, architecture and painting flourished in the 16th century. In the long run, however, the Uzbeks were cut off from developing world trade. There were also internal problems. In the second half of the 17th century, the country experienced a modest bloom again under the princes of the Janid dynasty from Astrakhan.

Premodern states, Russian conquest. Around 1800, three states emerged almost simultaneously: the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khiva (Greater Khorezm Empire) and the Khanate of Kokand. In the 19th century, the region came into the interests of England and Russia, which finally gained colonial rule over what was then Central Asia through a war. While the Emirate of Bukhara and the Khiva Khanate had to cede territories to Russia, but remained under the Tsarist protectorate as independent states, the third state previously existing in what is now Uzbekistan, the Kokand Khanate, was completely annexed by Russia. The General Government of Turkestan was formed from the areas in Central Asia conquered under Russian rule.

Soviet time. After the revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks took power in Tashkent as well as in the Russian heartland, and the former General Government of Turkestan became the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR) in 1918. In 1920, with the support of the Bolsheviks, the rulers of Khiva Khanate and the Bukhara Emirate were overthrown, the People's Republic of Khorezmia and the People's Republic of Bukhara were proclaimed and cooperation agreements were concluded with the USSR.

After the October Revolution, the Uzbek SSR was formed on October 27, 1924 from parts of the Turkestan ASSR, founded in 1918 and the People's Republics of Bukhara and Khorezmia (former Khiva Khanate), which had been part of the USSR since 1925. Tajikistan, which was initially an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Uzbek SSR, was separated from Uzbekistan in 1929 as an independent Tajik SSR. The Karakalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karakalpak ASSR), which was initially part of the USSR, was incorporated into Uzbekistan in 1936. The capital of Uzbekistan was initially Samarkand, replaced by Tashkent in 1930.

Islom Karimov: The first president of independent Uzbekistan (1938-2016)

Islom Abduganiewitsch Karimov was born on January 30, 1938 in Samarkand. After attending school, he first studied mechanical engineering at the Central Asian Polytechnic Institute in Tashkent and then economics at the Institute for National Economy. In 1960 he worked as an engineer in an agricultural machinery combine, from 1961 to 1966 in an aviation production company, where he was promoted to chief designer. In 1966, Karimov, who had since joined the Communist Party of Uzbekistan, moved to the State Planning Commission of the Uzbek SSR, where he became the first deputy head of this authority. From 1983 to 1986 Karimov held the post of Minister of Finance of the Uzbek SSR. In 1986 he became Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Planning Commission. Until 1989, Karimov was the first party secretary in the Kashkadarja (Qashqadaryo) region in the south of the country, and in June he became the first secretary of the Uzbek Communist Party. On March 24, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Uzbek SSR elected him to the newly created office of President of the Uzbek SSR. After the Moscow coup, Karimov declared the sovereignty of Uzbekistan on August 31, 1991. Almost four months later he was elected the first president of the independent republic. After his re-election, his term of office was extended by five years in a 2005 referendum. In January 2000, the population voted again for him, and his term of office was extended to seven years by referendum. Although the constitution only provides for two terms of office, Karimov ran for a third time in December 2007 after approval by the state electoral commission and was confirmed by an overwhelming majority for the presidency.

In her very polemical article entitled "That's why this tyrant
so many important friends "(original title:" Islam Karimov: the tyrant everyone is dying to woo "), the author addresses the question of why President Karimov was able to hold on to power for so long and comes to the conclusion that this without his energetic Supporters from western countries would not be possible.

Country

The political system: Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991. In 1992 a democratic constitution was introduced that guarantees respect for human rights, the separation of powers and other things. However, Uzbekistan remains a dysfunctional entity in which opposition parties are still banned and where freedom of assembly and expression do not even exist. In other words: after independence, no state could establish itself here according to the OECD model. Uzbekistan today is an authoritarian presidential republic, more precisely a dictatorship. The position of the president within the power apparatus is dominant, the separation of powers, institutions and rules only exist formally. The president is regarded as the father of the nation as well as the guarantor of the country's stability and security and governs it through decrees. He is also the chairman of the cabinet of ministers, which consists of the prime minister, the deputy prime ministers, the ministers, the chairmen of state committees and other state organs. The chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan also belongs to the Cabinet of Ministers. The President appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister, the Deputy Ministers, the members of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank and the governors of the regional administrations. He is the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

Separatist tendencies have only been observed in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan in the past. When the disintegration of the USSR was announced and took place quickly, some politicians in Karakalpakstan also pleaded for the sovereignty of their autonomous region and demanded independence - including from Uzbekistan. But President Karimov very quickly made it clear that a secession of Karakalpakstan from Uzbekistan would not be tolerated.

Parliament. The members of the bicameral parliament (consisting of the lower chamberOliy Majlis (German: "High Chamber"), also legislative chamber, see Bundestag, with 150 members and the Upper Chamber - senate, territorial representation, see Federal Council, with 100 senators) are representatives of government-related parties and the administration. The parliamentary elections held at the end of 2019 - beginning of 2020 were praised by international observers, but the elections themselves remained an electoral farce staged by the authoritarian regime: the newly elected parliament can only debate, but not govern. There were no changes compared to the elections under President Karimov. The opposition parties were not allowed to vote.

"Electoral process "in every parliamentary election: Nobody, even under the new president, can even run for elections if the president or his administration does not approve of him. It works: none of the 150 MPs has dared to say a critical word about the president's policy in the past five years. Others also report the handicap in admitting independent candidates. In December 2008, the Uzbek Senate approved a change in the law that would abolish the possibility of nominating non-party candidates through initiative groups.

Local (self) administration: The Mahallas (neighborhood communities) have taken on functions of local self-government. In Uzbekistan, they have been incorporated into the state apparatus as legal organs of local self-government since 1992. The Mahalla commissions are subject to state control. Their secretaries and chairmen are paid by the state and appointed by the respective provincial governor (hokim).

Domestic issues

News ticker / Domestic:

Will Uzbekistan really be reformed under President Mirziyoyev? More about this in the podcast:

Shavkat Mirziyoyev: "Elected" President and establishment of a "Triumvirate"

President Karimov had been clinically dead since the night of August 28th to 29th, 2016 as a result of a stroke. On September 3, 2016, he was solemnly buried in a historic cemetery in his hometown of Samarkand. The Uzbek government had 120 graves leveled for the construction of his final resting place. Karimov's contradicting legacy will preoccupy the country and the Central Asian region for decades.

Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev was "elected" as interim president on September 8, 2016 at a joint meeting of the two chambers of the Uzbek parliament. His "election" represents a clear violation of the law, because the Uzbek constitution (Article 96) provides that in the event of the death, resignation or incapacity of the president, the chairman of the senate (upper chamber) automatically becomes the interim president. The current chairman of the Senate, Nigmatulla Yuldoshev, is said to have voluntarily withdrawn his candidacy. In this case, the Senate would have had to elect a new chairman and confirm him as interim president. In the run-up to the presidential elections, which took place on December 4, 2016 (see below), Mirziyoyev issued a mass amnesty for prisoners, but this does not apply to political prisoners.

According to some reports, after Karimov's death there was an informal distribution of power in the context of a temporary "triumvirate", which, alongside Mirziyoyev, Rustam Azimov, first deputy. Prime Minister, and Rustam Inoyatov, head of the Uzbek secret service (SNB). The tweets from Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the late president, provide a glimpse into the internal power struggles. In mid-2017 President Mirziyoyev first dismissed Rustam Azimov, who was considered reform-oriented and pro-Western in Western circles (why actually?), From the government, then at the end of January 2018 Rustam Inoyatov was removed from his post as head of the intelligence service. Inoyatov has been appointed as the presidential political and legal adviser. He is flanked by two deputies who are loyal to the president, which is a novelty in Uzbek politics. But the secret service remains the strongest internal threat to Mirziyoyev, as shown by the conviction of Ikhtiyor Abdullayev, who could only serve as head of the secret service for a year.

However, one should be extremely careful with reports about this internal power struggle, some of which are euphoric, in which Mirziyoyev is stylized as a reform-oriented little David against various evil Goliaths. Even the NZZ, rightly praised and famous for its depth, confuses the timid elimination of particularly extreme excesses of a dictatorial government with genuine reforms that still fail to materialize.

The often expressed hope for a long-term development of Uzbekistan, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, - away from an encrusted "oriental despotism" stuck in an economic impasse towards an authoritarianism that modernizes the economy as in Southeast Asia in the 1980s and 1990s 20th century - seems unrealistic. As the Science and Politics Foundation writes in its analysis, Mirziyoyev's political plan is now clearly emerging: the transformation of the regime into a "new" authoritarianism that reacts to the challenges of economic and cultural globalization not with isolation, but with controlled opening through privatization and strengthening foreign trade.

Political parties and opposition

In 1996 a new law on political parties was passed in Uzbekistan. The minimum number of members was set at 5,000. As of February 2004, 20,000 signatures are required to register a party. The establishment of parties on an ethnic or religious basis is prohibited. The main "party" is the Xalq Demokratik Partiyasi (People's Democratic Party), which emerged from the former Communist Party. She has the majority of the seats in parliament. Other pro-government parties in parliament are Adolat (Justice), founded in 1995, Milliy Tiklanish (National Rebirth), founded in 1995 and Fidokorlar (The Self-Sacrificing), founded in 1999, which was incorporated by Milliy Tiklanish since 2008. In April 2000, the Vatan Taraqiyoti (Progress of the Fatherland) party, founded in 1992, merged with Fidokorlar. The most recent re-establishment is the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (Oʻzlidep), founded in 2003. The establishment of pro-government parties maintains the facade of the multi-party system. In fact, there are currently no approved extra-parliamentary opposition parties in Uzbekistan. Illegal opposition parties and movements include Birlik (unity), founded in 1988, Erk (justice), founded in 1990 as a split from Birlik and Serquyosh O'zbekistonim (Sunshine Uzbekistan), founded in 2005. The chairman of the party Erk and Einziger Opposing candidate in the 1991 presidential election, Muhammad Salih, has lived in exile since 1993.

NGO, media, civil society

In 1999, a law on the work of NGOs was passed in Uzbekistan.Of the approximately 556 (as of 01.01.2020) registered national non-governmental organizations in the country, around 10% are actually active. They are highly dependent on foreign funding. After the events in Andizhan, a wave of "voluntary" closings by NGOs began. Numerous foreign NGOs had to leave the country. Now the first foreign organizations are returning: 29 branches of the international NGOs are active in Uzbekistan (as of December 2019). However, the road to licensing an NGO is still rocky and often frustrating for both domestic and international organizations. In 2020 a human rights organization was approved again. But the regime interferes directly in the approval process, but there are also far more subtle methods of making the NGO scene compliant, e.g. by engaging the president's daughter in the non-government sector.

According to state information (as of January 1, 2015) there are 1,400 mass media in Uzbekistan, including 970 newspapers and magazines, over 100 electronic media (news agencies, television and radio studios, FM stations, etc.) and over 340 Internet media. The situation of the media in Uzbekistan is nevertheless very difficult. Although state censorship was formally abolished in May 2002, independent journalists continue to face harassment and self-censorship is widespread. There is hardly any public criticism of government policy in the media. Live broadcasts on Uzbek television are prohibited, all broadcasts are pre-recorded. The distribution system for newspapers and magazines is under state control. In 2020, Uzbekistan ranks 156th out of 180 on the freedom of the press. In December 1997, a media law regulating the powers and duties of journalists was passed. In 1999 a decree was passed that forces all Internet providers to run their connections via a state server. Due to technical progress, some providers illegally circumvent this requirement.

Civil Society & Human Rights. The values ​​postulated in the constitution of December 8, 1992, such as freedom of speech, assembly and religion, but also political pluralism are not implemented in practice and are viewed as a threat to stability and internal security. Political opponents are persecuted and human rights violations are on the agenda. Even if the death penalty was abolished in Uzbekistan on January 1, 2008, disease, systematic torture and inhumane conditions in prisons will continue to ensure that political opponents are now eliminated "naturally". Until 2016, the regime did not shy away from murdering opposition members abroad. The Dschaslyk labor camp, where prisoners were held for political and religious reasons, is notorious. It was only closed in autumn 2019 after 20 years of "operation".

Despite the state persecution, Uzbekistan has a very courageous human rights scene (Uzbek German Forum for Human Rights, Ezgulik, Freedom House (closed on January 13, 2006), Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Mazlum, Mothers Against the Death Penalty and Torture (awarded the International Nuremberg Human Rights Prize 2005), Working Expert Group Uzbekistan, etc. The human rights situation is still very sensitive.

2016 presidential election

On December 4, 2016, Interim President and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyeval was "elected" President. 88.61% of all voters voted for him. The "elections" were routinely declared "neither free nor fair" by the OSCE. With the new president, Uzbekistan is at a crossroads: would the rulers in Tashkent dare more "a controlled democracy" or will everything stay the same?

Andijan uprising in May 2005

On May 12/13, 2005, the population of Andizhan in the Fergana Valley rose against the policies of President Karimov's government. It was triggered by a lawsuit against 23 local business people whose small businesses offer some of the rare work and income opportunities in the region. They were accused of being members of a splinter group of the Islamic Hezb-ut-Tahrir. Several participants were arrested by security forces during demonstrations against the process. Protesters then stormed the local prison and freed hundreds of prisoners. The government continued on May 13. Security forces, who crushed the uprising with massive use of force. 169 people were killed, including 32 security guards, according to government figures. Human rights organizations, on the other hand, spoke of 500 to 1000 dead among the largely unarmed demonstrators. Even some members of the government commission spoke of "a high number of victims" in their later interviews. Protests or riots also broke out in other towns in the Fergana Valley, such as Kara Suu on the Kyrgyz border. President Karimov once again accused internationally active Islamist terrorists of organizing the uprising and rejected an investigation requested by the UN, the EU and the USA. In June 2005, Human Rights Watch described the events as a "massacre" after questioning more than 50 eyewitnesses.

The reaction of the West was quite different, also within the leadership of the US at the time and within the EU, as the following reports illustrate:

Ten years after Andizhan: Reconstruction of a massacre: In 2005, hundreds died in a bloodbath by government forces in Uzbekistan. In cooperation with CORRECT! V, ZEIT is reconstructing the massacre - with drawings and an eyewitness. Since the beginning of 2020, there have been increasing signs of a reassessment of events within the country's political leadership.

Foreign policy issues

News ticker / abroad:

Relations with neighboring states. Disputes about water allocation and energy supplies, as well as distrust and jealousy about the leadership role (Uzbekistan vs. Kazakhstan), prevented the creation of a Central Asian regional consciousness under President Karimov, who died at the end of August 2016, even though Central Asia is a region from a European perspective. In the course of nation building and the preservation of sovereignty as well as power centralism, statements by the political elites for the development of regional cooperation are therefore only mere political rhetoric. The fact that, against this background, the borders between the five Central Asian countries are transforming from current barriers into territorial enclosures with the character of good neighborliness seems to be a question of "if" rather than "when".

During the Karimov period, a dispute between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan over the planned construction of the Roghun power plant escalated. Uzbekistan severely criticized any construction plans and even carried out acts of sabotage, seeing that the water flow of the Wachsch and, as a result, of the Amu-Darya was severely impaired. The water that is collected in the reservoirs in spring during the melting of the snow is missing for the farmers on the lower reaches of the Amu Darya when sowing, especially since it is estimated that it will take 7-12 years before the reservoir will be filled. Uzbekistan, fearing essentially losses for its state cotton industry, urged an international investigation to investigate the effects of the construction on the water flow of the Amu-Darya. Although relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are worlds better than under Karimov, there is still considerable potential for conflict in the water issue. A similar water dispute with Kyrgyzstan led to an escalation on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border. President Mirziyoyev is trying to solve such problems quickly through lively telephone diplomacy with his Kyrgyz counterpart.

"The New Seidestrasse", which was announced by Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in 2013, consists of two routes: The first, northern (" Arctic ") route is supposed to run through Central Asia and via Russia and / or Iran to Europe. The second route is divided into three Corridors on: from Pakistan to the port of Gwadar, from Burma to the port of Kyaukphyu, and from Laos to Singapore. On the further sea route it will lead via Piraeus in Greece to Central Europe. In the original name OBOR (“One Belt One Road "), which was felt to be too expansionist and one-sided, was quickly abandoned. Beijing has switched to the more modest name" Belt and Road Initiative "(BRI). This initiative has different forms: the routes are intended as rail and road transport, too Ship, digital and in the airspace will find their realization. From April 25 to 27, 2019, the second International Forum took place in Beijing, dedicated to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The Central Asian states, with the exception of Turkmenistan, were represented by high-level delegations at the forum. In contrast to his predecessor, who welcomed Chinese investments and political support from China for his regime but did not allow any Chinese personnel into the country, Mirziyoyev continues to open up Uzbekistan to China not only for cooperation in the economic, but also in the cultural and educational sectors.

New president and zero problems (?) With the neighbors 

Under Karimov, Uzbekistan became increasingly politically and economically isolated within Central Asia and the international community. Relations with all neighbors were dominated by distrust and hostility. Mirziyoyev is now obviously striving to solve old problems through a policy of "zero problems with the neighbors" and to bring his regime out of isolation. At the end of December 2016, the Kyrgyz President Almasbek Atambayev came to Tashkent for a visit that the Uzbek media rated as a “breakthrough” in relations between the two countries. During Mirziyoyev's return visit to Bishkek at the beginning of September 2017, more than a dozen intergovernmental agreements in the areas of culture, trade, transport (including car and rail lines to China), counter-terrorism, and irrigation were signed.

Mirsiyoyev's first visit abroad took him to Turkmenistan at the beginning of March 2017, where there were plenty of expressions of friendship and even more government agreements on cooperation in the energy sector. At the end of March, the Uzbek president made a "historic" visit to Astana to see his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, with whom, unlike his predecessor, he got along well. Nazarbayev's return visit to Tashkent followed in mid-September 2017, during which several agreements on cooperation in the border and energy sectors, irrigation, exchanges in the military sector, combating smuggling, railways and cross-border cooperation were signed. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been in competition with each other since they were founded within the Soviet Union. This competition in many areas now also shapes their independent development.

Mirziyoyev met the worst adversary of his patron, the Tajik President Emomali Rachmon, on the sidelines of the US Islamic summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh. A photo distributed afterwards shows both presidents laughing hand in hand sitting next to each other on a sofa. An image that was unimaginable during Karimov's time. Mirziyoyev then paid a "historic visit" to Dushanbe in March 2018, which contributed to further relaxation between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. As a concrete result of all these meetings, Uzbekistan provides a kind of development aid in the troubled south of Kyrgyzstan, actively participates in the so-called business forum in Dushanbe and the new "friendship" with Turkmenistan is intended to bring new regional energy deals and infrastructure projects to life. At the beginning of 2020, the Uzbek-Tajik border, which had been mined for decades, was completely cleared of the mines. The policy of "zero problems with neighbors" is slowly including even such a pariah state as Iran.

Turning to Russia? In contrast to Karimov, Mirsiyoyev does not seem to harbor any anti-Russian resentment; on the contrary, he is considered to be extremely pro-Russian. Not least thanks to the fact that the secret service operating in the background and still strong is "collegially" connected to Putin. During his visit to Moscow at the beginning of April 2017, Mirsiyoyev was able to reach an agreement on all issues with his Russian counterpart. In concrete terms, this meant that 55 new agreements with a total volume of 16 billion US dollars were signed between Uzbekistan and Russia. For 2017 alone, Mirziyoyev pledged to increase the volume of trade with Russia from 4 to 5 billion US dollars (without specifying how this is to be achieved). In addition, the new president ordered import tariffs on Russian production (cars, steel production, food, building materials) to either sharply cut or even abolish. For the first time in the history of post-Soviet Uzbekistan, Russian companies have received orders to build turnkey industrial plants in the country. Of course, Gazprom was also given consideration: the Russian energy giant will have direct access to the largest gas reserves in Karakalpakstan and will be directly involved in gas exploration and production there for the first time. The first nuclear power plant is to be built in Uzbekistan with Russian know-how. The almost ten billion euro project (a power plant with two Russian pressurized water reactors with 1200 megawatts each) is to be built on Lake Tudakul near Bukhara. This location was chosen because uranium is mined there. Russia is "gently" pushing Uzbekistan into the Eurasian Economic Union. According to recent reports, President Mirziyoyev has made the decision to move closer to or join this alliance.

Relations with the West.Thanks to its strategic location, Uzbekistan played an important role in the US fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Due to its close proximity to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, like all of Central Asia, is also hard hit by the local drug industry. However, relations between Washington and Tashkent have deteriorated since the Andizhan riots in mid-May 2005. The US government had condemned the actions of the security forces against demonstrators in this city. At the end of July 2005, the Uzbek government decided to close the strategically important American base in the south of the country. Internationally, the usb was looking for. Leadership support in Russia. In November 2005 a Russian-Uzbek contract was even signed, which among other things stipulates that the contracting parties should give each other support in the event of aggression. A slight thaw in relations between Uzbekistan and the USA began with a visit by US Admiral William Fallon in early 2008 and has since intensified with a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry in early November 2015. This visit suggests changes in Uzbekistan's foreign policy. However, the regime rates its stability higher than economic integration with the region and the former post-Soviet space.

With his visit to Washington, which took place at the beginning of May 2018, Mirziyoyev endeavors to repair Uzbek-American relations or to open a new chapter and thus possibly create a counterweight to China and Russia. Whether he will succeed in this is currently still questionable. Because there are well-founded fears that the future of Uzbekistan could be "pro-Russian".

At the beginning of February 2020, a regional policy meeting at Foreign Minister level took place in Tashkent, at which the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented the US's new Central Asia strategy. The choice of Tashkent for this meeting was not accidental: Uzbekistan is still seen as a potential bulwark against restoration tendencies emanating from Russia in the post-Soviet space. Accordingly, Uzbekistan has been praised for its "progress" in the area of ​​human rights.