Actual - 06 November 2006
05:01 - The European Union - Uzbekistan: Normalization of attitudes only in exchange for democratization!
(The Statement of “Birlik” Party, November 6, 2006)
As is known, the western countries have sharply condemned actions of authorities of the Uzbekistan, which has arranged bloody massacre above peace demonstrators in Andizhan in May 2005, and the European Union has entered sanctions against Uzbekistan. Though it is difficult to estimate an economic component of result of sanctions, but from the moral point of view it was certainly big impact for the country leaders and personally for president Karimov who despite obvious cruelty of his regime, wishes to play a role respectable leader in opinion of the West.

More than year passed since those events. It is time to think that else it is necessary to do to help Uzbek people. We believe dictatorships cannot be won only by means of sanctions and their isolation from outside world. To that there are historical examples - Cuba, Iraq, Northern Korea, etc.

Therefore we call to combine skillfully external pressure upon government of Karimov with integration of Uzbekistan into all the international institutions, and thus, to promote achievement of a major objective - prompt democratization of our country.

We wish to emphasize especially, that here it is even more important to support pro-democratic forces inside the country as democratization of the country and its integration into the Western world is impossible without participation of democratic opposition of Uzbekistan.

In the last years, the Uzbek democratic opposition and its main organization the "Birlik" Party has struggled with existing regime in highly difficult conditions, but exclusively in legal space. Despite of pressure of authorities, the party with 25 thousand members continues the efforts to achieve official registration. The party has tried to participate in the 2004 parliamentary elections. Though authorities have not registered any of 10 candidates put forward by us, we have got experience, which will be certainly used during presidential elections in 2007, in which we are going to participate.

We know that within the next few days the European Union will to make a decision on prospects of relations with Uzbekistan. No doubt, leadership of Uzbekistan needs improvement of relations with the European countries. Democratic opposition of Uzbekistan hopes, that any steps aside normalization of attitudes between the European Union and our country will be accompanied with requirements to Uzbekistan, at least, in following directions:

- To conduct an investigation of Andizhan events;
- To soften a political climate in Uzbekistan;
- To improve situation with human rights;
- To release political prisoners,
- To not create obstacles to activity of oppositional democratic parties, including their participation in presidential elections of 2007;
- To expand opportunities for work of the international nongovernmental organizations.

We believe the European Union will not sacrifice basic democratic values for the sake of geopolitical interests and will render positive influence on development of democratic processes in Uzbekistan. Party "Birlik" expresses readiness to cooperate with corresponding structures of the European Union for the decision of all problems in the sphere of the European Union – Uzbekistan cooperation.

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