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Archive for Uzbekistan

Newsline: Uzbekistan summoned German ambassador

A German investigation into Russian-Uzbek billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, who is accused of money-laundering and tax evasion, has tested diplomatic relations between Germany and Uzbekistan, the Spiegel news magazine reported on Friday. (https://wsau.com/2022/11/18/uzbekistan-summoned-german-ambassador-over-oligarch-probe-spiegel/) A series of crisis talks have taken place between the countries’ diplomats, according to the report, including the summoning of the German ambassador in Tashkent. This followed searches carried out at properties registered to Usmanov on the shores of the Tegernsee lake in southern Germany on Sept. 21.The Uzbek ambassador to Berlin also appealed to the German Foreign Office for an appointment with the Federal Criminal Police Office, without success, the report said. According to Spiegel, investigators accuse Usmanov of withholding around 555 million euros in taxes from the German treasury between 2014 and 2022. His spokesperson has rejected the accusations against him as baseless and defamatory.

Newsline: Former Uzbek leader’s daughter resigns as UNESCO ambassador

Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, daughter of former Uzbek leader Islam Karimov, has stepped down as Uzbekistan’s UNESCO representative, becoming the latest official from her father’s administration to depart. Karimova-Tillyaeva, 39, said on her Facebook page she would work on her own projects in charity, education and other areas. She did not say whether she planned to return to Uzbekistan after quitting the Paris-based job. Karimova-Tillyaeva’s departure from public service follows a series of reshuffles made by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev who has removed from his cabinet a number of officials appointed under his predecessor, who died in 2016. Karimova-Tillyaeva first announced her plans to resign last August, roughly a year after the death of her father who had run the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation with an iron fist for 27 years.


Newsline: Alleged Sonic Attack at U.S.-Uzbek Embassy

A reported sonic attack at the American embassy in Uzbekistan is raising suspicions that Russia may have been behind the sonic attacks that targeted diplomats at the American embassy in Cuba, CBS News reported Tuesday. A USAID officer in Uzbekistan reported that he and his wife were the victims of at least one sonic attack in September. The two left Tashkent after reportedly experiencing injuries similar to those felt by diplomates in Cuba, several of which have been diagnosed with hearing loss, brain damage, and other cognitive issues. The State Department, however, said none of the U.S. staff in Tashkent suffered health issues like those experienced in Cuba. Additionally, a State Department spokeswoman told media: “We can confirm that there was no incident in Uzbekistan and that no personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan have been diagnosed with the conditions that have been observed in Cuba.”


Newsline: North Korea Embassy in Uzbekistan Shut Down

North Korea shut down its embassy in Uzbekistan early this month. Embassy staff returned to North Korea late last month, while the building in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent was sold along with the official cars and other assets. The Uzbek government demanded the closure as part of international sanctions against North Korea in response to the North’s latest nuclear test in January. A diplomatic source in Uzbekistan said, “Diplomatic relations have not been severed, but North Korean diplomats were virtually evicted by the Uzbek government rather than voluntarily closing down the mission due to financial problems.” The Tashkent embassy was the North’s sole remaining diplomatic mission in Central Asia after the embassy in Kazakhstan was shut down in 1998. Uzbekistan is home to around 180,000 descendants of ethnic Koreans and has been a strategic post for North Korea by supplying it with cheap raw materials like cotton.


Newsline: US Embassy in Uzbekistan Targeted by Firebombs

The United States diplomatic mission in Uzbekistan has been targeted in a firebomb attack in an unusual incident that will kindle chatter of a possible new terrorist menace in the repressive Central Asian nation. This most recent attack occurred early September 28. The US mission said in a statement that “an unidentified assailant tossed two improvised incendiary devices onto embassy grounds,” one of which exploded. Nobody was injured in the blast, but the embassy was closed as a precaution. The mission has now returned to business as usual, the statement said. The embassy offered no possible motivation for the attack, which would have required the assailant to approach a robustly patrolled building surrounded by high razor-wire walls and guarded by U.S. Marines and local police. The embassy said it was cooperating with authorities to investigate the attack and that it had identified “no specific threat information against Americans and/or American interests.”