Could Central Asia have an 'Arab Spring?'
Secretary Clinton visited Uzbekistan and Tajikistan Saturday and spoke about the need for Central Asian governments to do better on human rights.
October 22nd, 2011
04:38 PM ET

Could Central Asia have an 'Arab Spring?'

By Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty covering the Secretary of State in Tashkent, Uzebekistan

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (CNN) - At a town hall meeting filled in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens as an earnest young woman quotes the words of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

How, the woman asks, can Clinton possibly meet the following day with the president of neighboring Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, whose security forces killed hundreds of protesters in May 2005, in what became known as the Andijan massacre?

The United States "strongly objected" to the events in Andijan, Clinton assures the woman.

"We have had ongoing discussions with the government of Uzbekistan that I will continue when I go there tonight," she adds, "raising issues of human rights, of rule of law, the kind of fundamental freedoms that the United States strongly supports."

Then Clinton leans in to give the young audience, many of whom were born after the Soviet Union collapsed, a history lesson. FULL POST

October 22nd, 2011
01:49 PM ET

Ahmadinejad slams NATO, denounces U.S. pressure in Middle East

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday slammed NATO's role in Libya and said the United States - and all other countries - should stay out of the conflict in Syria.

"We think it is the will of the people that should work and prevail everywhere. Justice, freedom and respect to people - this is the right of all nations," he said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Ahmadinejad said his views on Libya were "not different" following the death Thursday of ousted Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. He said NATO's military campaign exacerbated the conflict and undermined the sovereignty of the nation.

Ahmadinejad also took aim at the United States, saying the country is "hated" in the Middle East and should keep out of regional affairs, such as in Syria, where a brutal government crackdown on protesters has drawn international ire. FULL POST

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Iran • Iraq • Middle East • NATO