Uzbek Ministry for Foreign Affairs cancels meeting with German MP's

Bonn/Berlin, June 30, 2011-ETG- The Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan announced today that a trip by the German Bundestag Committee for Human Rights cannot take place.

A delegation trip of German MP's to Tashkent was scheduled for November this year, after a request from Berlin, issued May 3. The Committee members planned to have bilateral meetings with the Uzbek Parliament and Government, discussing mainly the human rights dialogue.

Today, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry rejected the request by saying, that both chambers of the Parliament and the Government will have a tight schedule on "the further democratic reformation of the country together with the President. The legislative and executive bodies of Uzbekistan are therefore too busy for any additional consultations."
Volker Beck, Parliamentary Spokesperson of the Greens for Human Rights said that after the visit of the Deputy Foreign Minister Norov to Germany earlier this year, it seems that Tashkent felt offended by the protests in Berlin against the Uzbek Government.

He added that "Uzbekistan is too scared to talk about human rights issues openly, that they even are not willing to let German Parliamentarians into the country. Now I have my doubts, if a human rights dialogue with Uzbekistan can be fruitful." Mr. Beck also underlined, that talks about human rights abuses in Uzbekistan once a year are not enough. Just before those annual consultations, President Karimov would release some political prisoners, while arresting other opponents. If this dialogue is used only as a front, the German Government should reconsider its position on Uzbekistan. "The power, the time and the money then could be used in a better way to support the Uzbek civil society", Volker Beck said.

While the Greens made a clear statement on the cancellation, the German Government rejected any public comment.