Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump meeting with Uzbekistan president to talk Afghanistan

Trump meeting with Uzbekistan president to talk Afghanistan

"We haven't been notified at all" about the threat, Trump said as he welcomed the president of Uzbekistan to the White House, before adding "We haven't seen anything".

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev (Shuff-KAHT' Meer-zee-YOH'-yef) is crediting Trump before an Oval Office meeting for "achieving outstanding results", including the passage of last year's tax overhaul. Trump cupped his hands along the side of his mouth, leaned toward his counterpart and said, "I agree 100 percent".

The Uzbekistan leader came to power in 2016 following the death of the country's longtime autocratic ruler.

Uzbekistan also remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International, but White House officials framed the objective of the visit as necessary in order to encourage Uzbekistan's support of the USA operations in Afghanistan.

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The two leaders are expected to sign $4 billion in trade and investment agreements, which will likely include investment in Uzbekistan's oil, natural gas and metals sectors.

Despite a recent regime change, Human Rights Watch report published at the end of March outlined a media environment of "censorship and fear of repression by security services as a major factor in how they conduct their work" and continued human rights abuses such as "torture, arbitrary detention and criminal prosecutions for political purposes".

Shavkat Mirziyoyev will meet with Donald Trump at the White House on May 16.

Russia, China and the US all have vied for influence over Uzbekistan, a resource-rich and strategically placed country that provides the so-called Northern Distribution Network for the USA forces in Afghanistan. His trip to Washington was expected to offer clues about how far he's ready to go to open up to the U.S.

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