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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Uzbek Fears Over Base

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Uzbek President Islam Karimov said in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, on Friday that he was concerned about Russian plans to build a military base in Tajikistan.

Relations between Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous country, and neighboring Tajikistan have worsened in recent months, and Karimov is alarmed at the prospect of a permanent Russian armed presence close to his borders.

"In talks with [Tajik President] Imomali Sharipovich [Rakhmonov] I said once again that your right, as a sovereign state, is to come to any agreement, including a military one," he said at a news briefing.

"But when we are talking about a military base... then a number of questions arise: Against whom is the base directed? Why is it being set up?"