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Uzbekistan Refrains from Joining Military Blocs Foreign Policy Strategy

RIA Novosti

17:10 01/08/2012 MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - Uzbekistan’s lower house of Parliament on Wednesday passed President Islam Karimov's new foreign policy strategy, which rules out Tashkent’s membership in any military alliances and bans foreign military bases on Uzbek territory, Central Asian Fergana News Agency reported.

Uzbekistan, which didn’t have a specific foreign policy document until recently, rejects any membership in military alliances and “reserves its right to quit an interstate coalition if it turns into a military alliance,” Fergana quoted the foreign policy strategy as saying.

According to the document, Uzbekistan would not host foreign military bases on its territory, a fact that would alleviate the concerns Russia has had over Tashkent’s possible cooperation with NATO ever since Uzbekistan suspended membership in the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in late June.

On June 29, Tashkent announced it would suspend its membership in the CSTO, a move Moscow perceived as an attempt to clear the way for military cooperation with the United States.

The Uzbek foreign policy strategy also states that the country will not participate in any military campaigns abroad, according to Fergana news.

The document will be sent to the country’s upper house of Parliament, the Senate, where it is expected to be reviewed by the end of August.

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