"Uzbekistan gained independence at the end of 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union. The landlocked country is a potential Central Asian regional power by virtue of its population, the largest in the region, its substantial energy and other resources, and its location at the heart of regional trade and transport networks. The existing president, Islam Karimov, retained his post following the country's independence, and was reelected in 2000 and 2007. He has pursued a policy of caution in economic and political reforms, and many observers have criticized Uzbekistan's human rights record. [...] In FY2003 foreign operations appropriations (P.L. 108-7) and thereafter, Congress prohibited foreign assistance to the government of Uzbekistan unless the Secretary of State determined and reported that Uzbekistan was making substantial progress in meeting commitments to respect human rights; establish a multiparty system; and ensure free and fair elections, freedom of expression, and the independence of the media. In FY2008, Congress added a provision blocking Uzbek government officials from entering the United States if they were deemed to have been responsible for events in Andijon or to have violated other human rights. Consolidated Appropriations for FY2012 (P.L. 112-74) provides for the Secretary of State to waive conditions on assistance to Uzbekistan for a period of not more than six months and every six months thereafter until September 30, 2013, on national security grounds and as necessary to facilitate U.S. access to and from Afghanistan. Such waivers have been issued."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21238