On May 14, an alleged letter from Deputy Foreign Minister Of Uzbekistan Abdujabar Abduvakhitov to US Ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela Spratlen appeared online. This letter was widely dissiminated by the Russian yellow media.
The letter adresses issue of the growing terrorist threat, says that Uzbekistan is impacted by a flow of militants withdrawing from Syria and Iraq and there are currently about 5,000 members of various terrorist groups in Uzbekistan’s Surxondaryo Region. The letter also describes anti-terrorist activities of Russia, Kazakhstan,Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as one of the key reasons why militants are forced to move to Uzbekistan. The document also says that a possible the US involvement in combating terrorism in Uzbekistan “can greatly damage the image of Uzbekistan’s leadership, both inside the country and on the international arena.” So, Abduvakhitov allegedly asks the US side to clarify terms and conditions of a possible security cooperation.
There are no doubts that this letter is fake because of both comments by official representatives of Uzbekistan and the content of the letter – this is clear for any person aware about the practice and norms of the diplomatic correspondence.
This fake letter has purposefully distorted the current situation in Uzbekistan and recent developments in and over the country. Over the past few months, Uzbekistan has significantly improved its relations with neighbouring states, including Russia. Furthermore, special services and law-enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan and its neighbours have increased level of their cooperation in order to combat terrorism in the region.
There are two main questions, which appear over this fake letter:
- What goals have been pursued by it?
- Why has the Russian yellow media spreaded it?
The answer two the second question is relatively clear. Some media outlets just want to gain additional views and popularity by any means. Uzbek epxerts also support this version and call on the Russian media to take a common-sense view and to not carry out such subversive activities against Uzbekistan.
However, SouthFront does not think that this letter is just a rough attempt to gain some views. Indeed, it looks like an amateur action by some group of interests: some Uzbek opposition groups or representatives of special services of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or, less likely, Russia that pursued some own goals.