The United States
The United States recognized Uzbekistan as an independent state in December 1991; diplomatic relations were established in February 1992, following a visit by Secretary of State James Baker to the republic, and the United States opened an embassy in Tashkent the following month. During 1992, a variety of United States aid programs were launched. Operation Provide Hope delivered an estimated US$6 million of food and medical supplies for emergency relief of civilians affected by the Tajik civil war; the Peace Corps sent its first group of about fifty volunteers to Uzbekistan; an agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) began encouraging United States private investment in Uzbekistan by providing direct loans and loan guarantees and helping to match projects with potential investors; and humanitarian and technical assistance began to move to a wide range of recipients. In 1993 the United States granted Uzbekistan most-favored-nation trade status, which went into force in January 1994. In March 1994, a bilateral assistance agreement and an open lands agreement were signed. In 1995 a variety of investment and other treaties were under discussion, and several United States non-governmental organizations were initiating joint projects throughout Uzbekistan.
In the first two years of Uzbekistan's independence, the United States provided roughly US$17 million in humanitarian assistance andUS$13 million in technical assistance. For a time, continued human rights violations in Uzbekistan led to significant restrictions in the bilateral relationship, and Uzbekistan received significantly less United States assistance than many of the other former Soviet republics. Because Uzbekistan was slow to adopt fundamental economic reforms, nonhumanitarian United States assistance was largely restricted to programs that support the building of democratic institutions and market reform. By the end of 1995, however, United States-Uzbekistan relations were improving, and significantly more bilateral economic activity was expected in 1996.
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