Summary: Uzbekistan saw no change in its appalling human rights record in 2013, and a UN meeting on torture turned into a fiasco with the Uzbek delegate rubbishing proceedings. As ageing President Islam Karimov continues to hold on to power – alienating Uzbekistan from its neighbours and potential trading partners – the question of who will take over when he dies or falls ill is becoming more urgent. The president’s daughter, widely seen as his obvious successor, has fallen out of favour and the playing field is opening up. But for the time being, it seems that China is Central Asia’s greatest hope for building relations between Karimov and his neighbours.
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