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Turkish PM offers condolences over death of Uzbek leader


09-03-2016 07:06 BJT

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Uzbek President Islam Karimov has died at the age of 78. He had been hospitalized last weekend after suffering a stroke.

Uzbek authorities have confirmed the leader's death, adding that a funeral will be held on Saturday in the historic town of Samarkand.

A three-day period of mourning will start on the same day.

Karimov had led the country ever since being appointed leader by the former Soviet republic's Communist party chief Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989.

After Uzbekistan achieved independence in 1991, he was elected its first president.

Under Karimov's leadership, Uzbekistan had maintained friendly relations with China.

During the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tashkent in June this year, the two leaders upgraded China-Uzbekistan ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and outlined plans for a wide range of cooperation.

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