2020-02-03 19:17:00

Pompeo praises Uzbekistan for progress in upholding religious freedom

Tashkent, February 3, Interfax - Uzbekistan has been making progress in defending human rights, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Tashkent on Monday.

Speaking at a news briefing following negotiations with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov in Tashkent, Pompeo said Uzbekistan is broadening room for civil society, addressing forced labor problems, and relieving restrictions on the media.

As regards freedom of religion, Pompeo said that peace and wellbeing flourish where this is protected.

Kamilov, in turn, said Uzbekistan's mutual understanding regarding human rights with the U.S. has been growing.

Washington acknowledges the significant progress Uzbekistan has made in the past year in upholding religious freedom, eradicating children's and forced labor, protecting human rights, and providing preconditions for ensuring freedom of speech, Kamilov said.

The U.S. Secretary of State visited Tashkent as part of a tour scheduled to take place between January 29 and February 4, during which he has already visited the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. These visits were originally scheduled for early January, but the tour was postponed due to growing tensions in the Middle East.