'Uzbek Princess' Gets State Post

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Uzbek President Islam Karimov's daughter, Gulnara, tipped by analysts as his possible successor, has been appointed deputy foreign minister for cultural affairs, a government source said Monday.

Often called "the Uzbek princess," Gulnara, 35, is one of Uzbekistan's most influential figures, having accumulated vast wealth and influence since the gas-rich nation's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The source, who asked not to be named, said Gulnara assumed the post last week -- the highest government appointment in her career.

A Harvard graduate, Gulnara is also an Uzbek pop star whose videos often appear on state television. She regularly publishes romantic poetry on a personal web site.

She faces arrest in the United States after fleeing the country with her children in 2001 following a complicated divorce from her Afghan-American husband.