August 8-August 15, 1998
 
 
  1. Uzbek leader visits Afghan frontier

  2. Uzbekistan confident in defending its border

  3. Religious organizations receive new licenses

  4. ACCELS to send more students to USA

  5. Imam Al-Bukhari memorial is being rennovated

  6. Coca-Cola opens fifth bottling plant

  7. President's Cup to be held in September

  8. Uzbek soccer team to adapt to Thai weather

  9. Luxembourg ratifies Uzbekistan-EU agreement

 
  Uzbek leader visits Afghan frontier
  Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov on Saturday visited his country's frontier with Afghanistan, where military gains this week by Islamic Taleban forces have raised alarm across Central Asia. ``The president went to Termez this morning,'' a foreign ministry spokesman said, referring to a southern border town. The Taleban have recently made advances in northern Afghanistan towards the former Soviet Union's southern flank. Analysts say authoritarian ex-Soviet Central Asian leaders are not so much afraid of a direct attack by the Taleban as of a spread of weapons and radical Islamic ideology among their own people, many of whom are disillusioned with economic hardship. On Friday, President Boris Yeltsin said Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan should set up a joint barrier to guard against the Taleban as fighting approached the former Soviet border. ``Quickly, swiftly the three of us, friends and neighbours, have to unite and set up a barrier against the Taleban, in order not to allow them to go North. That is the main thing,'' he said. Yeltsin later spoke to Karimov about the situation on the former Soviet border, the Kremlin said.
 
  Uzbekistan confident in defending its border
  Uzbek President Islam Karimov said in Termez Sunday that in view of the complicated situation on the border with Afghanistan, "We are ready to defend ourselves and to safeguard peace and tranquillity in Uzbekistan." The Interfax news agency quoted Karimov as saying, "the Uzbek army is well equipped and is securely guarding the border with Afghanistan." Karimov, who was on a one-day visit to Termez, the administrative center of Surkhandarya region bordering on Afghanistan, said that the purpose of his visit was to see in what mood the population is. He believed that the people are confident in their own strength, and such a nation is invincible. Meanwhile, he denied rumors that the Taliban movement planned to seize Uzbekistan's Samarkand and Bukhara. Karimov once again called on the warring parties in Afghanistan to sit down at a negotiation table under U.N. aegis and with the participation of representatives of six states bordering on Afghanistan. Only this way can the sides find a common language and restore long-awaited peace in that country, he said.
 
  Religious organizations receive new licenses
  On Thursday several religious organizations received certificates on re-registration. The Law on Religion passed this May obliged all religious organizations, mosques, churches, sinagogues to receive a new license from the Government. This was made in hope to screen all the religious organizations in the country and grant licenses only to those teach religion and not politics. The Ministry of Justice this week issued licenses to the Directorate of Muslims of Uzbekistan, the Russian Orthodox Church and its religious seminary, the Al-Bukhari High Islamic Institute, and other organizations.

Religious communities in Uzbekistan have been given a deadline of Saturday in which to re-register with the authorities or face possible closure. Officials say they've had to bring in the new rules because of the hundreds of mosques that have opened illegally across Uzbekistan since itsindependence in 1991. The rules require all religious communities to present a number of documents, including proof of their sources of income. But human rights groups are concerned that such regulations could be used by the country's secular leadership to clamp down on religious activities. The BBC Central Asia correspondent says the move is part of a campaign against what the Uzbek government says is the Islamic extremism seeping across its borders from neighbouring states

 
  ACCELS to send more students to USA
  The American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study, ACCELS, has selected 50 high-school students from all over Uzbekistan for their Bradley program to study in American high-schools duirng one year. The finalists took a TOEFL test and were interviewed by ACCELS representatives. Now they will study in different U.S. states to learn about American culture, life-style and traditions in exchange for giving their American friends information about Uzbekistan. The Uzbek students will stay in the homes of Americans. Since the Bradley program started in Uzbekistan in 1993, almost 340 high-school students from Uzbekistan visited the United States.
 
  Imam Al-Bukhari memorial is being rennovated
  Uzbekistan will celebrate 1225th anniversary of prominent religious scholar Imam Al-Bukhari this October near Samarkand. These days Imam Al-Bukhari's memorial complex is being rennovated in the Oriental style with several mosques being built around the masoleum. Imam Al-Bukhari compiled over 7,000 oral traditions of the prophet Muhammad in Al-Sahih The Genuine, which is regarded by orthodox Muslims, the Sunnites, as being surpassed in importance only by the Koran.
 
  Coca-Cola opens fifth bottling plant
  The Coca-Cola company has opened its fifth bottling plant in Uzbekistan on Wednesday. The plant in Kuyluk area of Tashkent cost the Coca Cola 55 million dollars. This plant has the daily capacity of producing 40 thousand cases of cool drinks such as Fanta, Diet Coke and Sprite. It has created jobs for 160 people. All together the five plants created 1,800 direct jobs and 20,000 more jobs for distributors. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Mirabror Usmanov and visiting President of Cola-Cola for Europe William Casy. Mr. Casy also had a meeting with Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Utkir Sultanov and gave him a check for 100 million soums, that is almost 1 million dollars, from his company as an aid from the flood in Shahimardan.
 
  President's Cup to be held in September
  The Organizing Committee for the fifth annual"President's Cup" an international tennis tournament held a session at the Cabinet of Ministers this week. Last year the tournament was for the first time held as an ATP Tour. If you remember such great players as Evgeniy Kafelnikov, Tim Henman and Marc Rosset participated in last year's compeition. Henman and Kafelnikov will participate in President's Cup this year again. The prize money will be half a million dollar, 100 thousand dollars more than last year, but as less as the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, although the organizer of the tournament Swiss businessmen Sasson Kakshoori says that participants this year at President's Cup will be much more experienced than those from the Kremlin Cup. This year's winner will receive 66 thousand dollars and 170 ATP points. The President's Cup will be transmitted via satellite by ESPN, Eurosport and the Russian NTV and by several radiostations to one billion listeners in the world. By the way the surprise of this tournament may be Boris Bekker's participation.
 
  Uzbek soccer team to adapt to Thai weather
  The amputee-soccer club from Uzbekistan "Baynalminal" held the second place in the World Amputee Soccer Cup in Manchester. Of the eight participants from different countries, the team from Uzbekistan was second.

In the meantime and the main national soccer team of Uzbekistan has left for Thailand to get prepared for the 13th Asian Games to be held in this country coming December and for the Thai weather. Weather was the main reason for the national team's failure in 1996 asian Cup in the Emirates. Uzbekistan is the winner of the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima in 1994.

 
  Luxembourg ratifies Uzbekistan-EU agreement
  The Parliament of Luxemburg has ratified the Agreement between Uzbekistan and the European Union on Partnership and Cooperation signed during President Karimov's visit to Florence in the summer of 1996. Luxemburg is the twelvth of the fifteen EU countries to ratify this document.

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