Monday, June 06, 2005

Natan Sharansky on Uzbekistan

From the May 25, 2005 issue of The Forward:
In an interview with the Israeli daily Novosti Nedeli last August, Sharansky said that terrorism threats were a reminder that Karimov's uncompromising stance against extremists was justified, according to the BBC monitoring service.

"The Uzbek government adopted such an uncompromising position because it is understood in Tashkent, in the same way as Jerusalem, that the battle against terrorism is not some sort of tribal conflict; it is a world war of the forces of democracy against international terrorism," Sharansky was quoted as saying. He added, "It goes without saying that the strengthening, development and defense of democracy in Uzbekistan are an important part of the struggle for human rights all over the world. However, it would be a mistake to believe that the democratization process could be speeded up by way of slander and defaming the courageous struggle that Uzbekistan is waging against terrorism."