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Thursday, 15 November 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition
Uzbekistan
P6_TA(2007)0543B6-0452 and 0453/2007

European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on Uzbekistan

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolution on Uzbekistan of 26 October 2006(1) ,

–   having regard to the Commission's Strategy Paper for Central Asia (2007-2012),

–   having regard to the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 15-16 October 2007,

–   having regard to the letters of 15 May 2007 and 3 July 2007 sent by its President, Hans-Gert Pöttering, to the Uzbek Minister for Foreign Affairs,

–   having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Uzbekistan, of the other part(2) , which entered into force on 1 July 1999,

–   having regard to the human rights clauses in the above agreement,

–   having regard to the Council Presidency statements on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan in 2005 and 2006,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the General Affairs and External Relations Council imposed and extended sanctions on Uzbekistan following the events of May 2005 in Andijan,

B.   whereas the Uzbek Government has not addressed all the conditions which the Council set out when sanctions were applied,

C.   whereas the General Affairs and External Relations Council, at its meeting of 15-16 October 2007, renewed for a 12-month period the arms embargo set out in Council Common Position 2006/787/CFSP(3) and the visa restrictions for individuals listed in the annex to Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP(4) ,

D.   whereas the Council, on the same occasion, lifted for six months the visa ban on Uzbek officials as set out in the annex to Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP in order to encourage the Uzbek authorities to take further positive steps to improve the human rights situation,

E.   whereas in the course of 2007 the Uzbek authorities have shown their willingness to engage in dialogue with the EU by holding two rounds of experts" talks on the events in Andijan, as well as the first round of the human rights dialogue between the EU and Uzbekistan,

1.  Reaffirms its serious concerns about the human rights situation in Uzbekistan;

2.  Reiterates the importance of EU-Uzbekistan relations and acknowledges Uzbekistan's crucial role in the Central Asia region, but stresses that those relations must be based on mutual respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, as is clearly laid down in the EU-Uzbekistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;

3.  Points out that the policy of targeted sanctions has not produced positive results so far; considers it justified, therefore, to encourage the Uzbek authorities by lifting for six months the visa ban on Uzbek officials as set out in the annex to Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP;

4.  Invites the European Council to monitor and clearly evaluate after six months the effects of this measure on EU-Uzbekistan relations and, possibly, to draw the relevant conclusions on the basis of this evaluation;

5.  Welcomes the general progress in EU-Uzbekistan relations which has taken place in the course of 2007;

6.  Notes in particular the willingness shown by the Uzbek authorities to engage in dialogue with the EU by holding two rounds of experts" talks on the events in Andijan, as well as the first round of the human rights dialogue between the EU and Uzbekistan;

7.  Encourages the Uzbek authorities to make further progress in the area of human rights;

8.  Urges the Uzbek authorities to implement fully their international commitments to fundamental freedoms, freedom of the press and media, and the rule of law;

9.  Expresses its concern at the refusal by the Ministry of Justice in Uzbekistan to recognise officially the Human Rights Watch office, and calls on the Uzbek authorities to reconsider this decision in order to show their commitment to the development of civil society in their country;

10.  Urges the Uzbek Government to release the fifteen Uzbek human rights defenders, given that the EU has made the protection of human rights defenders a central concern of its external policies, in particular through the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders adopted on 14 June 2004;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, the Government and Parliament of Uzbekistan, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(1) OJ C 313 E, 20.12.2006, p. 466.
(2) OJ L 229, 31.8.1999, p. 3.
(3) Council Common Position 2006/787/CFSP of 13 November 2006 renewing certain restrictive measures against Uzbekistan (OJ L 318, 17.11.2006, p. 43).
(4) Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP of 14 May 2007 renewing certain restrictive measures against Uzbekistan (OJ L 128, 16.5.2007, p. 50).

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