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From the Department of Unexpected Announcements:
The United States plans to take the unprecedented step of cutting all military aid and some economic assistance, worth $18m a year, to punish the central Asian state for its harsh policies aimed at stamping out political dissent.
update 7/14: The CS Monitor posits that what's actually taking place is simple assbackwardness, so far as military support goes:
Despite the aid cut, there is no indication yet that the US will sever military ties beyond the ending of a training program for Uzbek officers. Indeed, Uzbek officials appear unphased by the rebuke.
"I am not disappointed by the State Department's decision," says foreign ministry spokesman Ilkhom Zakirov. "We understand that the full amount of the earmarked $18 million will not be lost, but there will have to be a decision by the State Department on every single development project."
"The military cooperation will continue," Mr. Zakirov added.
Statements from Atanazar Oripov, leader of the Erk party, and human rights campaigner Surat Ikramov are quoted at IRIN.
:: posted by buermann @ 2004-07-13 17:09:25 CST |