Two investigations of Andijan events

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MOSCOW (RIA Novosti political commentator Dmitry Kosyrev) - On June 23, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) of the CIS countries will convene in Moscow to discuss Afghanistan, in particular new threats coming from it to Central Asian states.

The information came from Osh and Andijan, two cities in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan located across the border in the Fergana Valley. Alarmingly, the revolts that rocked the cities in the past few weeks and months had too many common features.

The scheme was identical: the occupation of state buildings, the release of prisoners, and the use of innocent civilians as a live shield (read: hostages). And more and more reports say that "foreigners," meaning people from across the southern borders, were involved too.

The above facts were revealed during the international investigation of the events in Andijan, Uzbekistan. In fact, two completely independent international groups are investigating the revolt.

One group was formed in the Uzbek parliament and includes diplomats from the embassies located in Tashkent, including the great powers of China, Russia and India, as well as regional players -- Kazakhstan, Iran, Pakistan and other neighbors of Uzbekistan. It has found many alarming facts; the countries involved in the investigation are accumulating bits of information that are forming a complicated picture that is not always pleasant to President Islam Karimov.

The second investigation was undertaken by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in the camps of refugees who had fled from Andijan across the border into Kyrgyzstan. The OSCE group mostly discussed one issue, i.e. if the authorities had the moral right to use military force to quell the uprising, or only Americans are permitted to shoot civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two groups pretend to be unaware of each other, which spotlights the absurdity of the attitudes of different centers of power and influence in Central Asia and the turbulent Muslim world to the events.

The U.S. and European nations were invited to take part in the international investigation in Tashkent, but they refused. Sources close to the OSCE leadership said off record about the regional security and development organizations incorporating Central Asian states and their neighbors: "We do not consider them serious." And so they do not contact them in the "minor" investigation in Kyrgyzstan.

Sources in the Russian government quarters confirmed that the OSCE is trying to avoid contacts with the CSTO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, EurAsEc and other organizations in Central Asia. Moreover, direct clashes with them are becoming increasingly frequent.

This is another proof of the unstable legal foundations of the OSCE (where Central Asian states and Russia are members). Indeed, it would be silly for them to continue to support a structure that has been stolen from them and used to destabilize their governments.

But the future of the OSCE is not on the agenda. The point at issue is not an organization with a vague future but the attempts of European bureaucrats to pursue a policy far away from Europe.

The events in Andijan won Uzbekistan many friends in the Russian political class, which had disregarded Uzbekistan before that. Russians and everyone else who follow events in Central Asia know that [economic] development should come there first, to create the foundations for democracy.

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