O’tgan hafta Toshkentda AQSh-O’zbekiston yillik maslahat kengashi bo’lib o’tdi. Xavfsizlik, Afg’oniston, qoradori savdosiga qarshi kurash, savdo va sarmoya, huquq va demokratiya hamda madaniy rishtalar muhokama qilindi.
Tomonlar bugungi aloqalar ko’lamidan mamnun, lekin Davlat kotibi muovini Robert Bleyk (Robert Blake) ning tan olishicha, respublika inson huquqlari bobida oldinga siljishi kerak. So’z va matbuot erkinligi, diniy erkinlik, fuqaro huquqlari...
Diplomat bilan Davlat departamentida suhbatda bo’ldik.
Navbahor Imamova: 15-avgust kuni Oqsaroyda mehmon bo’lib, O’zbekiston rahbari Islom Karimov bilan muloqot qildingiz. Biror konkret masala haqida gap ketdimi?
Robert Bleyk: Qator masalalar, xususan Afg’onistonni muhokama qildik. U yerdagi o’zaro manfaatlar haqida gaplashdik. Shuningdek, hamkorlikni kengaytirish uchun boshqa muhim sohalarga ham urg’u berdik, jumladan inson huquqlari.
Navbahor Imamova: O’zbekiston va AQSh Afg’oniston kelajagi yuzasidan bir fikrda deya olasizmi? Siz qanchalik optimist ruhda bo’lmang, Toshkentda rasmiylar Afg'onistondda 2014-yilgacha ahvol yaxshilanmasligi va xalqaro koalitsiya chiqib ketgach, yanada orqaga ketishi mumkin deya mulohaza yuritayapti. Vashington bu xavotirlarga qanday javob berayapti?
Robert Bleyk: 2014-yildan keyin Afg’onistonda nima bo’ladi deb xavotirlanishayotgani rost. Men o’zim O’zbekistondagi hamkorlarimizga AQSh Afg’onistonni tashlab qo’ymaydi deb aytib kelyapman, ayniqsa 2014-yildan keyin, ham iqtisod, ham xavfsizlik bobida. Biz mintaqaga nisbatan faol siyosat yuritishda davom etamiz. O’zbekiston bilan yaqindan ishlashda davom etamiz. Ularga xavfsizlikni saqlashda yordam beramiz. Shimoliy Ta’minot Tizimiga hissa qo’shayotgani uchun bu davlat tahdid ostida qolmasligi kerak. Biz bu borada ko’maklashamiz.
Navbahor Imamova: 2014-yildan keyin mintaqada AQSh harbiy kuchlari bo’ladimi? Biror yangi baza ochish niyati bormi Vashingtonning?
Robert Bleyk: Ko’p narsa Afg’onistonda qancha qo’shinga ega bo’lishimizga bog’liq. Biz yaqinda Afg’oniston bilan strategik bitim imzoladik. Bu hujjat 2014-2024-yillar orasida qanday hamkorlik qilishimiz uchun zamin yaratadi. Endigi qadam - xavfsizlikni ta’minlash bobida ikki tomonlama kelishuv imzolash. Bu hujjat qancha va qanday qo’shinga ega bo’lishimizni belgilab beradi. Bu borada muzokaralar shu kuz boshlanishi kerak, va ular qancha vaqt davom etishini hozirdan aytish qiyin. Markaziy Osiyoda esa, men O’zbekistonda aytganimdek, harbiy baza ochmoqchi emasmiz. Respublika Shimoliy Ta’minot Tizimida ishtirok etayotganidan mamnunmiz.
Navbahor Imamova: Qirg’iziston Manasning tijoriy tranzit markaziga aylanishini istayapti. AQShning javobi nima?
Robert Bleyk: Biz Qirg’iziston hukumati bilan bu borada gaplashayapmiz. Hozirgi bitim 2014-yilning yarmigacha amalda. Demak, hali vaqt bor. Afg’onistondagi muzokaralar qanday tugashiga qarab ish tutamiz. Qirg’iziston bilan hamkorlikni qadrlaymiz. Manas tranzit bazasi uchun Qirg’iziston xalqi va prezident Atambayevdan minnatdormiz. Kelajak yuzasidan muloqotni davom ettiramiz.
Navbahor Imamova: Siz Rossiyaning Markaziy Osiyo va Afg’onistonda yaqin kelajakda qanday rol o’ynashi mumkinligi yuzasidan juda ijobiy fikrdasiz. AQSh targ’ib qilayotgan Yangi Ipak Yo’li barpo etilishida ham bu davlat muhim hissa qo'shadi deb kelayapsiz. Qanday asosda?
Robert Bleyk: Biz va Rossiya mintaqa va Afg’onistonda mushtarak manfaatlarga egamiz. Rossiya, shubhasiz, dunyoning bu qismida o’ziga xos rol o’ynab kelayotgan davlat. Shunday ekan, u bilan ishlash, oshkora harakat qilishdan manfaatdormiz. O’tgan yillar ichida biz shunday harakat qildik. Rossiya Afg’oniston rivojlanishini, barqaror bo’lishini, iqtisodiy jihatdan taraqqiy etishini istaydi. Afg’oniston yoki Markaziy Osiyo beqaror bo’lishidan ular manfaatdor emas.
Navbahor Imamova: Rossiya bilan samimiy muloqotdamiz deya olasizmi? Bilasizki, rus axborot vositalarida aloqalar boshqacha yoritiladi. Go’yoki siz region ustidan kuchli raqobatdasiz… Markaziy Osiyoda ko’proq ta’sir kuchiga ega bo’lishni istaysiz. Yangi bazalar ochmoqchisiz. Har holda rus matbuotida bu borada chiqayotgan maqolalarni ko’rgan bo’lsangiz kerak. So’nggi tashrifingiz, Ostona va Toshkentga safarlaringiz yuzasidan ham turli taxminlar avj oldi u yerda.
Robert Bleyk: Taxminlar asossiz. Ostonaga reysim bir kunga kechiktirilgani uchun Almatida to’xtadim xolos. Aytganimdek, biz Markaziy Osiyoda uzoq muddatli harbiy bazalarga ega bo’lishga harakat qilmayapmiz. Markaziy Osiyo xalqlari va Afg’oniston ahli uchun imkoniyatlar kengayishi yo’lida hissa qo’shishni istaymiz. Biz biror o’yin o’ynayotganim yo’q. Bu yurtlar barqaror va farovon bo’lishidan biz ham, Rossiya ham, Xitoy ham manfaatdor. Mintaqa savdo-sotiq va sarmoya oqimidan, birdamlikdan katta foyda ko’radi. Biz davlatlar bilan shu haqda gaplashayapmiz.
Navbahor Imamova: Toshkentda biznes forum o’tkazdingiz. Amerika investorlarini respublikaga jalb etishga urinayapsiz. Lekin yaqinda MTSdek yirik uyali telefon kompaniyasi ishi to’xtatildi. Bosh prokuratura uni biznes jinoyatlarda ayblamoqda, lekin kompaniya rahbariyati ayblovlar asossiz, hukumat bizdan qutulmoqchi xolos, deydi. Bunday ahvolda siz uchun xorijiy sarmoyadorlarni O’zbekistonga qiziqtirish qiyin emasmi?
Robert Bleyk: Biz bu missiyalarni kompaniyalarimizga yordam berish uchun tashkil etamiz. Eksport ko’lamini oshirish, amerikaliklar uchun ko’proq ish o’rinlari yaratish uchun qilamiz bu ishlarni. Ular ham O’zbekistondagi imkoniyatlarga qiziqadi. Men o’zim biznes forumda aytganimdek, O’zbekistonda konvertatsiya va bitimlarga rioya qilish masalalarida muammolar bor. Lekin yutuqlar ham yo’q emas. Amerikaning eng zo’r bizneslari, “General Electric”, “General Motors” va “Boeing” singari kompaniyalar ishlamoqda u yerda. Ular boshqalarga namuna bo’la oladi, ularni ruhlantira oladi.
Navbahor Imamova: MTSga qarshi ochilgan ish xavotirga molik emas, demoqchimisiz?
Robert Bleyk: Bu borada taxminlarga berilmoqchi emasmiz. Vaqt ko’rsatadi nima bo’lishini. Bilasizmi, kompaniyalar qayerda sarmoya qilish yoki biznes boshlashni o’zlari imkoniyatga qarab hal etadi. Biz ular uchun qaror qilmaymiz, yordamlashamiz xolos.
Navbahor Imamova: Xalqaro va mahalliy inson huquqlari himoyachilari nazarida Obama ma’muriyatining O’zbekiston bilan yaqin aloqalari vaziyat yaxshilanishi uchun xizmat qilmayapti. Huquq va demokratiya masalasi oldingi o’rinda emas deyishadi. Bunga nima deysiz?
Robert Bleyk: Inson huquqlari – O’zbekiston bilan ketayotgan muloqotning ajralmas va juda muhim bir qismi. Biz respublika rahbariyatiga shuni aytayapmizki, hamkorlik sermahsul va to’liq bo’lishi uchun huquq bobida ijobiy o’zgarishlar qilish kerak. Bizni bu borada nimalar tashvishga solayotgani haqida ko’plab hisobotlarimiz bor. Har yili, muntazam ravishda ko’taramiz u muammolarni. Yillik maslahat kengashlarida uzoq o’tirib gaplashamiz bu haqda. Bu safar ham astoydil muhokama qildik doimiy muammolarni, shuningdek, diniy erkinlik va inson savdosi… Vaziyat yaxshilanishidan O’zbekiston hukumatining o’zi manfaatdor. Bu avvalo davlatning o’zi uchun muhim. Inson huquqlari bilan bog’liq ahvol yaxshilansa, xalq hayoti yaxshilanadi. Bu ishlar Amerikani qondirish uchun, O’zbekiston kelajagi uchun qilinishi kerak. Progress bo’lsa, xalqning davlatga ishonchi, hurmati oshadi.
Navbahor Imamova: Sizning ham ishingiz osonlashadi Vashingtonda, shunday emasmi? Kongress va Amerika xalqini O’zbekiston bilan hamkorlik qadriyatlarimizga mos deb ishontira olishingiz uchun.
Robert Bleyk: Albatta. Lekin bu yerda eng muhimi - O’zbekiston hukumatining o’z xalqi, fuqarolari manfaatlarini ko’zlashi. Progress bo’lsa, albatta, mening ishim osonlashadi, chunki masalan O’zbekistonga harbiy sohada yordam ko’rsatish kerak bo’lsa, Kongress a’zolari inson huquqlari haqida so’raydi, ahvol yomon ekanini eslatadi, xavotir bildiradi. Shuning uchun agar O’zbekiston hukumati huquq bobida ijobiy qadamlar tashlasa AQSh bilan kengroq hamkorlik uchun zamin hozirlagan bo’ladi.
Navbahor Imamova: Siz buni O’zbekiston rahbariyatiga aytganingizda, qanday javob berishadi?
Robert Bleyk: O’tgan yillar ichidagi muloqotimiz samarasi shuki, hozir bu masalalarni do’stona ruhda muhokama qilamiz. Bilishadiki, biz ularga aql o’rgatayotganimiz yoki quruq tanqid qilayotganimiz yo’q, balki strategik maslahat berayapmiz. Ochiq va samimiy muloqotdamiz bu haqda.
Navbahor Imamova: Lekin quruq gapdan ham foyda yo’q, shunday emasmi? Shuncha muloqot bilan ahvol yaxshilanmayapti deyayotganlar ko’p. Konkret maqsad yo’lida harakat qilib, konkret choralar ko’rilishi kerak, deydi ular.
Robert Bleyk: Albatta bor konkret maqsadlarimiz. Qay sohada bo’lmasin, imkoniyatga qarab, harakat qilayapmiz. Fuqaro jamiyatini quvvatlaymiz, shu bilan birga hukumat takliflarini ham ko’rib chiqamiz, masalan parlamentlararo hamkorlikni yo’lga qo’yishni. Bu ham huquq bilan bog’liq. Maqsad - parlament rolini oshirish.
Navbahor Imamova: O’zbekiston bilan bugungi hamkorlik faqat hukumat bilan, xalq bilan emas. Toshkent-Vashington gaplashayapti, lekin AQSh mamlakat ichida nima bo’layotganiga befarq degan tanqidlarni ko’p eshitamiz. Amerika oddiy odamlar bilan bog’lanish uchun nima qilayapti?
Robert Bleyk: Bundan fikrlash noto’g’ri. Amerika, dunyoning qay davlatida bo’lmasin, xalq bilan bog’lanishni istaydi. Siyosatimiz shunga asoslangan. O’zbekistonda ham shu. Almashinuv dasturlarini oling. Mustaqillik yillarida respublikadan 4000 oshiq yoshlar va mutaxassislar bizning ilm o’choqlarimizda ta’lim oldi, malaka oshirdi. Ta’lim va ilm-fan sohasida ko’plab dasturlarni yo’lga qo’ydik. Toshkentdagi elchixonamiz respublika bo’ylab omma bilan bog’lanishga harakat qiladi, “Chay chat” degan loyihamiz bor. Mehmonlar borib, o’zbekistonliklar bilan muloqot qiladi.
Navbahor Imamova: To’g’ri, lekin siz aytgan almashinuv dasturlari oxirgi yillarda juda kamayib ketgan, bu yerga o’qishga kelayotganlar soni ham pasaygan. Ta’lim olish imkoniyatini beruvchi dasturlarni yuritadigan tashkilotlar, AQShda asoslangan muassasalar, masalan ACCELS va IREX O’zbekistondan bir necha yil oldin chiqib ketgan. Bugun o’quv dasturlarini elchixonaning o’zi, juda cheklangan ko’lamda yuritadi.
Robert Bleyk: To’g’ri… Biz bu dasturlar kengayishini, ko’proq yoshlar kelib o’qishini istaymiz. O’zbekiston hukumati buning uchun yo’l ochsa, biz jon deymiz. Dasturlarni biz emas, O’zbekiston hukumati cheklab qo’ygan. Biz xalqlarni bir-biriga bog’lash uchun har sohada hamkorlikni oshirishni istaymiz.
Navbahor Imamova: Demak, yuqorida tilga olingan tashkilotlar O’zbekistonga qaytishini istaysiz?
Robert Bleyk: Men biror tashkilot haqida hozir gapirishni ma’qul ko’rmayman. Shuni aniq aytishim mumkinki, biz ikki xalqni yaqinlashtiruvchi dasturlar tarafdorimiz.
Navbahor Imamova: Rahmat sizga suhbat uchun.
Robert Bleyk: Sizga rahmat!
Original/Interview with Assistant Secretary Robert Blake, August 21, 2012
Assistant Secretary Blake Interview with Navbahor Imamova, VOA Uzbek
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
U.S. Department of State
Q: Thank you so much for being with us. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.
A: Thank you for having me.
Q: You just came back from another trip to Central Asia. On Wednesday [August 15] you met with President Karimov. Tell us about it. How did it go?
A: Well, we had a very good and productive discussion on a wide range of issues, focusing mostly on Afghanistan and our common interests there, but also on all the other areas where we’re trying to expand our relations, including in the area of human rights.
Q: Would you say that the Uzbek government and the U.S. are on the same page when it comes to the future of Afghanistan? Because what we hear from the Uzbek official is that they are concerned about what could happen there following 2014. They are not as positive about the future of the neighboring country. They think that things could get worse.
A: I think I’ll let the government of Uzbekistan speak for itself, but as you say, there are some concerns in some quarters of Uzbekistan about the period after 2014 in Afghanistan and the post-transition effort. I have spent a great deal of time talking to all our friends in Uzbekistan about our commitment in Afghanistan, particularly our commitment after 2014 economically and also from the security perspective. And we have assured them that we are going to continue to be very involved in the region and that we’re going to continue to work closely with Uzbekistan, and also to help to protect them to the extent that they could come under threat as a result of their strong support for the Northern Distribution Network.
Q: The future… How do you envision your military presence in the region in the years to come?
A: The most important question would be what kind of presence we have in Afghanistan. As you know we signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan earlier this year that governs and provides a framework for our relations in the period 2014 to 2024. The next step will be to negotiate a bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan and that will determine the exact number of troops, what kind of troops we will have, etc. So the negotiations for that will begin this fall and it’s hard to say how long it will take. But I think it will be a very key document in what a lot of what we will have in Afghanistan. In the wider region, I reassured everybody in Uzbekistan that we are not seeking bases. We welcome very much the strong support of the Uzbek government for the Northern Distribution Network, and we are staying in very close touch on all of these transition issues as we move to the next two years.
Q: What is going to happen with Manas? Because the Kyrgyz government has been very vocal about what they want it to be. They want it to turn into a commercial hub. What does Washington want?
A: We are in good conversations with the government of Kyrgyzstan about that. As you know, the contract with Kyrgyzstan runs through the middle of 2014 so there is still some time. And one of the things we have to look at is how these negotiations in Afghanistan go, because that will determine a lot about what kind of presence we might need in Kyrgyzstan as well. So this is a conversation that is just beginning. We value very much the strong support that Kyrgyzstan and President Atambayev have provided for the Transit Center at Manas, and I think we will have a good conversation going forward.
Q: You have been very optimistic and positive about the role that Russia plays in all this. You think that you could work with Russia when it comes to Afghanistan and you also in your recent briefing in Congress you said that Russia could play a very productive role in realizing this vision of a New Silk Road. Could you elaborate?
A: I think we and Russia have a lot of common interests in the region and in Afghanistan. And certainly Russia has always had a preeminent role in this part of the world, so it is very much in our interest to work with Russia and be transparent with Russia. So we have made a real effort over the last several years to do that. Again, I think Russia would like continuing development in Afghanistan; a much greater effort on the security front in particular, but also on the economic front. Because certainly it‘s not in their interest to see instability in Afghanistan or in Central Asia. So again, we will continue to work very closely with Russia.
Q: So you have had candid discussions about the Silk Road?
A: Oh yes, all the time.
Q: Because, you know, in Russian language media there is a lot speculation about the competition for Central Asia and the future role in Afghanistan. And your recent visit to Central Asia also stirred up some speculation about why you went to Tashkent, why you didn’t do what you didn’t do in Astana. So, could you clarify those things for us?
A: Well, I was supposed to go to Almaty but unfortunately there were some plane troubles here. And so that forced me to delay by one day my trip to Almaty, which was unfortunate. So I only had the chance to go to Almaty for a short period of time. But again, we are not seeking any kind of long-term military bases in Central Asia. We are looking to try to expand opportunities for the people of Central Asia and people of Afghanistan, and we don’t see this as a zero-sum game in any way. We think that Russia, China, the United States, and the Central Asians can all benefit from this, and all have a very important role to help try to establish greater trade and investment and integration. And again, we have very good and productive discussions with our friends in all these countries on that.
Q: And to push for that, you have been trying to attract American businesses... Speaking of the recent annual bilateral discussions in Uzbekistan, you held a business forum with the presence of more than 50 different companies. But with what’s happening on the ground; what’s happening with MTS, the largest mobile company, which is owned by Russians and also by Americans, they are being terminated. Don’t you think that sort of scares off the American investors who might be willing to work in Uzbekistan? It is not good news for you, right?
A: Well, we organize these trade missions—and by the way, it was 25 companies; 50 representative of 25 companies.
Q: Oh, okay.
A: We organize these missions to try to support our companies, to try to develop opportunities for them to help increase our exports and help provide jobs for Americans here. And so we always want to do whatever we can to help support our companies. And they themselves are interested in new opportunities in Uzbekistan. So we were very pleased to make that a component of this year’s Annual Bilateral Consultations. As I mentioned in my public remarks at the business forum, there are some concerns, things like currency convertibility and contract sanctity, issues like that. But I think there’s also a lot of good work being done. We have some of the best American companies like General Electric, General Motors, Boeing, who have had a very good business presence and quite a lot of success. So I think their example inspires others and, again, people are looking for opportunities. So we were glad to support that.
Q: So you think MTS case is not going to hurt your efforts?
A: I don’t want to speculate about the MTS case. It is just starting, and we will just have to see. Again, each of these companies make their own judgments about where they see the opportunities. Our job is to open those opportunities and to help resolve problems as they come up.
Q: You do say the U.S. government does not make business decisions, right?
A: Yes, that is right, exactly.
Q: The human rights community is not happy at all with the current level of cooperation you have with the Uzbek government. They think this closeness is not really helping to improve the situation. What do you say to that?
A: Well, I don’t know quite what you mean by the human rights community.
Q: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, so many other international rights organizations, local human rights activists, international monitors...
A: Well, let me just say this: human rights is a very important part of our dialogue with Uzbekistan. We have made clear to the government there that if we are going to really have a full relationship, it is very important that we continue to make progress, and really make an effort to make progress on human rights. Our concerns about human rights in Uzbekistan are well known, and they are amply documented in our Human Rights Report that we put out annually. And this was one of the most lengthy parts of our dialogue at our most recent Annual Bilateral Consultations. So we had a very long and detailed discussion on this covering all the issues, including conventional human rights issues but also religious freedom, trafficking in persons, etc. And these are all issues where we are doing all we can to push progress forward. We try to explain to Uzbekistan why it is in their interest to move on these things; not because it is something to please the United States, but this is something that is going to help improve the lives of their people and the support of their people for the government.
Q: But it would help you to help them, right? I mean, if they took any positive steps it would make your job easier here in Washington.
A: It does. But mostly it’s important for them to do this for their own citizens. It does help me on things like when we go out to seek support for military sales, for example, there are all these questions on human rights from our friends on the Hill. So the more they can make progress on human rights, the more it is going to benefit the wider relationship.
Q: What do they say when you raise these issues?
A: I think we have had a lot more trust now within the last few years. The more we are approaching this as a friend and not just criticisms, but really approach this strategically. So it’s a much more candid and open discussion now and it’s a good give and take that we have, which is good.
Q: What would you say to those who say talking is not enough, that you have to have concrete goals and concrete measures that have to be taken?
A: Well, we do have concrete goals and we are working hard to expand our engagement in every way that we can, to support civil society but also to support initiatives government might have to develop human rights. For example, one of the areas they are now looking at is the area of developing the role of Parliament. So we are looking at how we can expand that, and work with the Uzbek Parliament.
Q: Another criticism that we hear very often is that your operation is really limited to the government, that Washington and Tashkent talk to each other, and America doesn’t really hear about what is going on in the country…
A: I think that is misplaced. In every country of the world one of the most important parts of our engagement is people-to-people ties. And that’s true in Uzbekistan, too. One of the things we have worked hard on is exchanges. Since Uzbekistan’s independence I think we have sponsored more than 4,000 exchange visits by Uzbekistanis to the United States. But we have also worked hard to expand things like educational cooperation, science and technology cooperation. Our Embassy in Tashkent is very active in promoting outreach around the country. They have these regular “Chai Chats,” they call them, where they bring in speakers to talk about whatever the issues of the moment are.
Q: But we have also seen the number of programs go down. You don’t have ACCELS, you don’t have IREX, you don’t have so many other non-governmental organizations that used to carry out those programs. Right now the embassy does those. And right now the numbers are very low, you know that. The Edmund Muskie program, for example.
A: Yes, and we would love to do more.
Q: What’s keeping the U.S. from really making more [inaudible]?
A: To the extent that there are limitations on those, those limitations are set by the Uzbek government, not by us. We are very anxious to try to expand our cooperation in every area we can.
Q: So you would be very interested in bringing those organizations back to Tashkent?
A: Sure. I don’t want to speak about specific organizations because I don’t know the details of each one of them. But as a rule, we are trying to expand in every area, but particularly in the people-to-people area.
Q: Thank you so much.
A: Thank you, good to talk to you.