US offered Uzbekistan to join coalition against ISIS
International news agency Reuters reported that the US government offered Uzbekistan to join the international coalition against the terror organisation ISIS.
The offer was made by the US deputy assistant secretary Daniel Rosenblum during his visit to Uzbekistan. Daniel Rosenblum pointed out that the coalition was not only fighting with the radicals, but also worked on stopping their funding sources and monitoring the terrorist branches location. “Uzbekistan as well as any other country can choose what to work on within our framework”, added John Kerry assistant in Central Asia.
Uzbekistan is the most populated country in the Central Asia. There are about 31 million people living in the country. Islam Karimov has quite a negative image in the Western mass media because of his oppressive policies as far as citizens who object to his policy are concerned. It is worth mentioning that on his visit to Tashkent, Rozenblum paid special attention to the issue of human rights. He approved of elimination of juvenile labour on cotton fields. Uzbek president is considered to be one of the most important allies of the US in the region. At the beginning of the operation against the Talibs, Uzbekistan was proclaimed to be the NATO strategic partner in the Central Asia.
However, Uzbekistan authorities are thinking over the offer and have not commented on it yet. Joining the coalition will obviously lead to some negative consequences. According to the official records, not so many Uzbeks have left for Syria and Iraq to fight on the jihadists’ side. The official statistics estimated it as 500-700 people. However, the number might have been underestimated. There is a risk that these jihadists will return to Uzbekistan to destabilise the situation in the country, which leaves much to be desired. Karimov is getting old and it is still unclear who will be his successor. Apart from this, the radical organization “Islamic movement of Uzbekistan”, which swore an oath to the self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, threatens security of the country. Should Uzbekistan join the international coalition against ISIS, the radicals will have a decent pretext for fighting against Karimov regime.