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EU set to back Uzbekistan trade pact

Labor abuses no longer seen as obstacle

Campaign groups allege that more than 1 million Uzbeks are conscripted to participate in the country's cotton harvest. (Courtesy of Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights)

BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament looks set to approve a textile agreement with Uzbekistan on Wednesday despite continuing objections from human rights organizations which were previously able to rally opposition.

The pact resolves the final missing element of the EU-Uzbekistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that has been in place for 17 years, making each side a "most favored nation" for the other. It will also further lower tariffs on Uzbek textile imports.

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