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MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences over the death of Uzbekistani President Islam Karimov to Acting President Nigmatulla Yuldashev.
"His (Karimov's) passing away means a heavy loss for the entire people of Uzbekistan, for the Commonwealth of Independent States and for the partner nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," Putin said in the telegram of condolences.
"Islam Abduganiyevich (Karimov's patronymic according to the Russian system of official full names TASS) was a highly authoritative statesman and a true leader of his country. His name is linked to the milestone events in the history of contemporary Uzbekistani state."
"Under the leadership of Islam Abduganiyevich, Uzbekistan was pursuing peace-loving foreign policy, contributing to the strengthening of security and stability in Central Asia, development of multifaceted cooperation in the region," the telegram said.
"Islam Karimov’s contribution to the establishments of relations of strategic partnership and allied relations between our countries can hardly be overestimated," it said.
"I am confident that in joint efforts we will keep developing Russian-Uzbek cooperation for the benefit of our fraternal peoples," the president said.
He asked to convey words of sincere sympathy and support to the next-of-kin of the deceased, to the government and the people of Uzbekistan.
Putin has instructed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to head an official Russian delegation to the funeral of Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, the prime minister’s press secretary, Natalya Timakova, told journalists.
"Prime Minister Medvedev will take part in funeral ceremonies. The Russian delegation will also include Vice-Premier Sergey Prikhodko, the head of the government staff," she said.
Medvedev has presented condolences to Shavkat Mirziyeyev, the prime minister of Uzbekistan, over Islam Karimov’s death, the Russian cabinet of ministers press service said on Friday.
"An outstanding statesman, whose name is inseparable from the history of independent Uzbekistan, has passed away. Under his leadership, the country made considerable achievements in state construction and socio-economic development," the cabinet of ministers said in a telegram.
Medvedev noted Karimov’s personal contribution to the development of traditionally friendly relations of allied partnership that unite Russia and Uzbekistan.
"I would ask you, the esteemed Shavkat Miromonovich, to convey the words of compassion and support to the family and relatives of Islam Karimov. We are sharing the grief of the citizens of brethren Uzbekistan in connection with this irretrievable loss," the government telegram said.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who died at the age of 78 on Friday, September 2, will be buried in Samarkand on September 3, the cabinet of ministers and parliament of Uzbekistan said in a statement read on the Uzbek national television.
Islam Karimov was born on January 30, 1938 in Samarkand, a city in eastern Uzbekistan. Karimov had ruled Uzbekistan since 1989, when he became the First Secretary of the republic’s Communist Party. In March 1990, he was elected as the first president of the republic. In 1991, Karimov won the first presidential elections in Uzbekistan and served as president for five years. He retained his top post following nationwide referendums in 1995 and 2002, and after direct elections in 2000, 2007 and 2015.
Karimov is one of the longest-serving presidents in the former Soviet states. He remained in power for 26 years. In addition, the president was awarded the title Hero of Uzbekistan. Karimov is also a doctor of science and an honorary academic at many educational institutions and establishments throughout many foreign countries. He is the author of books on Uzbekistan’s political and economic development. His works, statements and texts of his speeches were published in a ten-volume book.