TASHKENT, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - Kazakhstan's president said the actions of the authorities in neighboring Uzbekistan during the Andijan uprising in May 2005 were justified.
"In Andijan, you protected the peace of 26 million Uzbekistanis," Nursultan Nazarbayev, currently on a state visit to the neighboring Central Asian republic, told his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov.
Uzbek authorities claim the Andijan uprising on May 12-13 last year was masterminded by Islamic extremist groups linked to international terrorist organizations. Official statistics say 187 people died in the ensuing violence, including 60 civilians and 31 policemen.
However, human rights groups say about 700 civilians died as a result of a violent crackdown by security forces and police. Law-enforcement bodies said 94 terrorists were killed and 76 injured as a result of antiterrorism measures.
Special services said extremists were planning to destabilize both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev said.
He said a head of state could not take other measures as terrorists had seized government buildings and prisons, adding that similar measures were taken throughout the world in similar situations.
"A different outcome would have destabilized the region today," Nazarbayev said.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Yury Gagarin: A down-to-earth person
Infographics: The Linguistic Diversity of the Planet
The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.