SAMARKAND, September 6. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences on Tuesday to the widow of the first President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, and his daughter.
After laying flowers at Karimov’s grave at the cemetery near the historic monument of Shahi Zinda in Samarkand, the Russian head of state arrived at the Palace of Forums - the Samarkand residence of the President of Uzbekistan.
After laying a wreath at Karimov’s photograph, Putin expressed his condolences to Tatyana Karimova - the widow of the president, and his youngest daughter - Lola Karimova-Tillyayeva. The Russian president continued the conversation with the Karimovs family behind closed doors.
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 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.