Uzbekistan’s first and only president Islam Karimov has died, the Uzbek government has confirmed six days after he was taken to hospital with a suspected brain haemorrhage at age 78, BBC has reported.
Karimov was hospitalised on August 27, and a day later, his daughter had said he had suffered a brain haemorrhage. The Uzbek government initally released a statement saying only that Karimov was ill.
Karimov will be buried Saturday in the ancient city of Samarkand, his birthplace, the government said in a statement.He has run an authoritarian regime since 1989 without naming a successor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences in a statement on the Kremlin website Friday.
“It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Islam Karimov to the establishment of relations of strategic partnership between our countries,” the Russian President said.
“Under (Karimov’s) guidance … Uzbekistan held a peaceful foreign policy, contributed to the strengthening of security and stability in Central Asia and to the development of multilateral cooperation in the region,” Putin added.