EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

WikiLeaks: Succession or Protection Plans for UN Ambassador Karimova?

Posted by Info on 22/03/2011

WikiLeaks has released another batch of alleged diplomatic cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent describing the background to appointments of Gulnara Karimova, President Islam Karimov’s daughter.
A cable dated February 4, 2008.
Embassy political FSN believed that Karimova’s appointment is an attempt to provide her with diplomatic cover so that she may be able to travel freely once again to Europe, and possibly even to the United States, to inspect her family’s finances. Karimova is widely seen as controlling the Zeromax corporation, which is headquartered in Switzerland and controls a large stake in many of the key sectors of the Uzbek economy, including its gas, oil, and gold extraction industries.

On the one hand, Gulnora could become a Deputy Prime Minister, though with the number of enemies she has acquired through her rapacious business appetites, this might prove an ill-fated move. More probable, in our estimation, is an attempt to forge for Gulnora a positive international image and perhaps buy her the political protection she will need when and if the Karimovs decide to exit Uzbekistan’s political state – and perhaps Uzbekistan itself.

Another cable dated September 18, 2008, contains speculation about Karimova’s UN appointment, and notes that the requests for visas to Switzerland for herself and her children came “very suddenly and with pressure for a fast turnaround”. The speculation here, too, is that succession plans are not so much driving the appointments as post-Karimov protection plans:

her life in a post-Karimov Uzbekistan would be less than secure. It is interesting to note now that both Karimov daughters hold diplomatic postings outside of Uzbekistan–Gulnora in Geneva, and Lola at UNESCO in Paris.. In September 2008, President Karimov appointed his daughter Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, which some observers have noted helps position her to wield greater control over Zeromax.

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One Response to “WikiLeaks: Succession or Protection Plans for UN Ambassador Karimova?”

  1. Karim Mirzo said

    Wikileaks, in my personal opinion, has put american diplomacy’s reputation under great threat, at least with cables related to Uzbekistan. Reading the cabled from the embassy in Tashkent any knowledgeable person in Uzbekistan, even without slightest positive attitude towards Gulnara Karimova, would say that 90% of the information is either outdated or false. American high-profile diplomats in Tashkent seem to mix the two “first” daughters of uzbek president. They don’t really look like double checking the facts, by simply putting rumors on official letter-head papers… Shame!

    Following those cables one Swiss newspaper (Le Temps) published a big article about Gulanara in February. I don’t know what happened next, but last week same newspaper posted a short “facts and figures”-type text stating that half of the arguments in previous story were wrong… For example –
    * Ambassador Karimova is not in control of oil&gas tenders
    * Ambassador Karimova has no official evidence or proof that she’s somehow related to Zeromax. (She has also personally denied any connection in one of the interviews)
    * No arrest warrant is issues from US law agencies, due to confidential agreement between her and her former husband… (Wikipedia says that actually in 2008 New Jersey court has took ALL charges off Gulnara)
    etc.

    I’m no Gulnara’s fan… But I’m on board with those who cover any stories objectively, giving word to all conflict parties.

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