Uzbekistan's Grand Mufti Usmankhan Alimov visited the U.S. for the first time this week, holding high-level talks at the White House, Congress and the State Department. Discussions evolved around the level of religious freedom in Uzbekistan, which continues to worry the human rights community.
In an exclusive interview with VOA, Bennett Freeman of the Cotton Campaign, international coalition to end forced labor in Uzbekistan, says that there has been significant progress since 2017 but major challenges remain.
The International Labor Organization's Director-General Guy Ryder recently visited Uzbekistan. He met President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other high level officials and discussed how the country has been reforming to end forced labor in its cotton fields. Ryder talked exclusively to VOA in Tashkent.
Europe has been engaged with Central Asia for decades but often with mixed results. Now is the European Union opening a new and more dynamic chapter in its relations with the region, and especially with a changing Uzbekistan? VOA special from Tashkent.
As the cotton season starts in Uzbekistan, VOA's Navbahor Imamova interviews Jonas Astrup, International Labor Organization's chief technical advisor in Tashkent. How is this UN body tackling the forced labor problem in the country? How does it monitor the cotton picking process in which the system has always relied on forced labor? How did the ILO find a common language with the Uzbek government? Who are its local and international partners? Why is Astrup so optimistic about reforms in Uzbekistan?
Daniel Rosenblum, who has played a key role in Washington's policy toward Central Asia over the last few years, is set to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan. He recently testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Atabek Nazirov is the first Uzbek American joining the Mirziyoyev administration in Tashkent. Why and how? What does change mean for this 43 year old banker? And what is his advice to those who would like to follow him? VOA's Navbahor Imamova talks to Nazirov about goals and challenges.