BRUSSELS — The European Union’s executive on Friday defended plans by EU officials to meet Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Brussels for discussions that will include energy and security cooperation.
Karimov will meet NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday to discuss military supply transit routes through its territory to Afghanistan and may sign a deal with the European Commission on developing solar and hydro power and other energy infrastructure.
The commission said human rights would be high on the agenda when Karimov meets President Jose Manuel Barroso.
“The president will be very clear on human rights. We are pressing for further measures against torture. The Uzbeks themselves have expressed their interest in EU support for that,” said Michael Karnitschnig, a commission spokesman.