U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States is looking for a comprehensive engagement on all of the issues of concerning Uzbekistan during an interview with Jackie Northam of National Public Radio.
“There’s no doubt that our disagreements with the human rights record in Uzbekistan is profound, and we have personally, continually, including my visit last year, delivered that message. But we also think to achieve our goals in Afghanistan, the neighbors are important, and Uzbekistan is an important neighbor.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that Uzbekistan worries about extremist Uzbek fighters who are based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, causing them a lot of internal problems. She stressed that they want to be part of working with them as they do their transition out.
“And the Northern Distribution Network, which we have accelerated in developing because we did not want to be totally dependent upon a supply route through Pakistan into Afghanistan, is critical to our getting our troops withdrawing from Afghanistan on the timetable that the President has set forth.” -Ms. Clinton