October 10-October 17, 1998
  1. Russian President Boris Yeltsin visits Uzbekistan

  2. President Karimov meets President of Tatarstan

  3. National Bank chairman becomes finance minister

  4. Uzbekistan tries 20 Islamist men, activists say

  5. President Karimov will visit Turkmenistan

  6. SA Zulu teacher needed for University in Uzbekistan

  7. Brief news

  8. International fibre-optic cable put into operation

  9. U.S. Government announces humanitarian assistance

  Russian President Boris Yeltsin visits Uzbekistan
  Russian President Boris Yeltsin paid a two-day official state visit to Uzbekistan this week. This was Mr. Yeltsin first overseas visit in the past six years. The visit to Uzbekistan was postponed two times because of his poor health and the crisis in his country. The third attempt was successful, but it only lasted for one full visit to Uzbekistan and his visit to Kazakstan was shortened. President Yeltsin arrived in Tashkent on October 11 with his wife. She had her own program of visit. Now it was President Karimov's turn to host the guest of honor after his official visit to Russia this May. While the two president's were holding a private talk at the Durmen residence, the official delegations met for a working session and signed a number of inter-government agreements on cooperation in communications, fight against illegal financial operations, in customs and culture. On Monday the delegations continued their negotiations. It became clear that Russia needed Uzbekistan's agricultural products and cotton. Uzbekistan and Russia signed over 100 documents in the past and during the negotiations both sides discussed ways to make them work. Then Presidents Karimov and Yeltsin signed an agreement on the deepening of economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan in the period from 1998-2007. The document notes that the two countries will provide all possible assistance in the implementation of their economic cooperation program, which is an integral part of their bilateral relations. Russia and Uzbekistan agreed to create favourable conditions or the organisation of the regulatory and labour framework in the field of tariff and non-tariff regulation of foreign economic activity, indirect taxation, customs services, and coordination of measures to protect the national manufacturers. The First Lady of Russia Naina Yeltsin was offered more a cultural program. She visited the State Museum of the Temurid History and was presented a book about the history of the Great Empire of Temurids. In exchange she donated a book about the history of the Russian State to the museum. Then she visited an artisan center. At the end of her tour she admitted that she was impressed by the people in the street and their optimistic and happy faces.
  President Karimov meets President of Tatarstan
  On Monday President Karimov met with the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintemir Shaymiev, who had arrived in Tashkent with the Russian official delegation and brought a large delegation from Tatarstan to hold separate negotiations. In 1993 the governments of Uzbekistan and Tatarstan signed an agreement on trade, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation. The last year's trade volume was 40 million dollars. Tatarstan is planning to export to Uzbekistan equipment for oil and gas industry, pharmaceutical products and will increase the import of textile and agricultural products, vehicles and furniture.
  National Bank chairman becomes finance minister
  President Karimov appointed Chairman of the National Bank Rustam Azimov as the Minister of Finance instead of the released Jamshed Sayfiddinov. This is the third staffing change in the Uzbek government in the last two weeks after two deputy Prime-Ministers Kayum Hakkulov and Alisher Azizkhodjaev left their positions.
  Uzbekistan tries 20 Islamist men, activists say
  Uzbekistan, worried that militant Islam may be on the rise, has put on trial 20 young men charged with crimes that include trying to disturb the peace in the Moslem state, human rights activists said on Thursday. Uzbek rights activist Mikhail Ardzinov said the Supreme Court started trying 15 young men from the ex-Soviet state's eastern Andizhan region last week and a second trial of five men had begun on Monday. Ardzinov said the first group was charged with undermining the constitutional order, robbery and extortion, and illegally possessing arms and drugs. Andizhan is part of the fertile but poor Fergana Valley in eastern Uzbekistan which was rocked by a series of killings of local civil and police officials last December that were blamed on local Moslem youths. Ardzinov said the second trial, of five men, had started at the city court in the capital Tashkent on Monday. The accused are charged with supporting a local religious leader, Kori Nazarov, who disappeared mysteriously earlier this year. Justice ministry officials declined to comment on the trials. But state television on Thursday showed the Tashkent five placed in front of the court in an iron cage. "Their goal was to undermine social and political stability, to propagate books teaching religious extremism and to spread arms and narcotics," the television report said. The men face sentences of five to 20 years in prison if found guilty, it said. It is not the first time Uzbekistan, a Moslem nation of 24 million people, has tried young men charged with Islamist extremism. Between May and July, 26 people were sentenced to three to 10 years in prison and one person was sentenced to death. President Islam Karimov, who has ruled the country with an iron grip since Soviet times and tolerates little opposition, has accused neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan of fomenting Islamic extremism in his country. Human rights activists say poverty and despair over the slow pace of economic reforms are more likely than foreign propaganda to push Uzbeks into seeking consolation from religious leaders.
  Uzbek President will visit Turkmenistan
  Uzbek President Islam Karimov will pay a one-day working visit to Turkmenia on Friday. Itar-Tass was told at the Turkmenian Foreign Ministry that it was agreed to hold this meeting during the recent telephone talk between the presidents of the two countries. They are expected to discuss some important problems of bilateral partnership, interaction within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and regional cooperation. The sides are also expected to touch on some problems, pertaining to the situation in Afghanistan.
  SA Zulu teacher needed for University in Uzbekistan
  A languages professor from the central Asian country of Uzbekistan is scouring South Africa for a Zulu teacher. The Uzbek State World Languages University already had an Afrikaans teacher from Potchefstroom who taught about 70 students, said university vice-chancellor Prof Jomolavin Buranov. He is part of a five-member Uzbek trade delegation that is on a week-long visit to SA. Recruiting a Zulu teacher was proving slightly more difficult, Buranov said. If he could not recruit one, he would arrange correspondence courses through the University of SA. Applicants for the permanent post would not have to be native speakers, but should have previous experience in teaching Zulu. Buranov said a couple from Pretoria, Willie and Sandra Brand, had set up the Afrikaans faculty at the Uzbek university about 18 months ago. Students studying Germanic languages took the course largely out of linguistic interest. Buranov said more than 20 languages were taught at the university, but Zulu would be the first black one. Buranov is part of a five-member Uzbek trade delegation that is on a week-long visit to SA. Uzbekistan is an oil-producing country with a population of about 24- million, which achieved independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Official statistics register no trade between SA and Uzbekistan, but mining machinery and white spirits are traded through third countries. SA process engineering company Bateman completed a gold mine project in the country two years ago.
  Brief news
  Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan Saparbay Avezmatov stepped down from his position and former district hokim Amin Tajiev was appointed instead.

Due to the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's cabinet, President Islam Karimov's scheduled official state visit to Italy has been put off until a new Cabinet of Ministers in Italy is formed.

President of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan Sobir Ruziev has been awarded a gold Olympic medal for his outstanding contribution to the development of sport in Uzbekistan. Mr. Ruziev said that he would do his best to nominate Uzbekistan to host Asian Games in 2006. On February of 1996 President Islam Karimov was also awarded the Gold Olympic Medal by President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch in Lasagne.

Uzbekistan has fulfilled over 50% of the State Order for cotton. More than two and a half million tons of cotton have been harvested so far. The target is four million tons. Bukhara, Kashkadarya and Khorezm are the three leading viloyats which have fulfilled over 75% of the state order. Cotton is the principal crop and item of export in Uzbekistan.

This week a new country code for Uzbekistan and area code for Tashkent have been introduced and put into effect along with the old numbers which will be operational until the last day of this year. So the new numbers are 998 for the country code and 712 for Tashkent for six-digit numbers and 71 for seven-digit numbers.

The first station of Tashkent metro's Chilonzor route, Maxim Gorky station will be henceforward called Buyuk Ipak Yuli station.

The Constitutional Court released its first bulletin. It contains information about the Court's activity and the interpretation of laws. The bulletin is hoped to increase citizens's legal knowledge and lawyers's professionalism. It will also publish articles about the experiences of foreign legislators.

  International fibre-optic cable put into operation
  The Trans-Asian-European Fibre-Optic Communications Line has been put into operation. In 1992 China proposed to lay fibre-optic cable connecting the East to the West. The proposal was hailed by 20 countries including Uzbekistan, because part of the 27-thousand kilometer-long cable would cross Uzbekistan as well and would improve its communications facilities. The cable runs from Shanghai to Frankfurt. The high-quality fibre-optic cable is used to transmit telephone, fax, video and other signals. The Uzbek portion of the cable is 885 km-long and runs through Tashkent, Jizak, Samarkand, Bukhara and Alat. The cable was laid without external financial resources.
  U.S. Government announces humanitarian assistance
  The United States Government announced a humanitarian assistance for Uzbekistan's hospitals and clinics. The aid contains medical equipment, hospital furnishings and medical supplies. The project is being administered by the Counterpart Humanitarian Assistance Program (CHAP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan and its oblast departments. Shipments are expected to arrive in Tashkent in late-November and early-December. They will include adjustable beds, medical equipment and medical supplies, with a total value of nearly $182,000. CHAP's activities in Uzbekistan began in 1997 when CHAP participated in the Operation Provide Hope's 500th Flight.

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