Statement by the Minister Dermot Ahern on events in Uzbekistan
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., called today for the unrest in Uzbekistan to be resolved without further bloodshed. The Minister said:
“Credible reports that many of the killings in Andijan last Friday were the result of firing by military forces on unarmed civilians are extremely disturbing. I appeal to the Uzbek authorities to exercise utmost restraint in dealing with any further protests. I would also call on all opposition groups to refrain from violence.
The facts of what has happened in recent days should be independently established. Granting access to international organisations and to the media would be a positive first step.
It is also important that the root causes of instability are considered and addressed. This will require political and economic reforms to improve the daily lives of all the people of Uzbekistan.
In the immediate term, the humanitarian needs of refugees seeking to flee Uzbekistan have to be met and their rights under international law protected.
EU Foreign Ministers will consider the situation in Uzbekistan at the External Relations Council next Monday. My colleagues and I will endeavour to ensure that the European Union plays its part in helping to resolve the crisis in a just and peaceful manner.”