Cotton Outlook GoodJanuary 2007 | Risk Summary
The death of Turkmenistan's autocratic ruler Saparmurat Niyazov in December sent shock-waves around Central Asia. While we consider the prospects for contagious regional instability low at present, his demise has cast a spotlight on the region's other dictators, including Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Presidential elections this December could well be a flash-point for unrest, although we do not see autocratic rule in Uzbekistan ending any time soon. Indeed, with China's interest in the region's resources rising, and EU policy focussing on diversifying supplies, greater international leniency over Karimov's human rights abuses, considering Uzbekistan's energy supplies, could well be ahead.
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