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International relations

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan spurn US call to confront China

Pompeo's plea to end 'repression' of Muslim minorities also draws Chinese ire

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lambasted China for its treatment of its Muslim minorities on his visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.   © Reuters

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took advantage of his visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan last week to lambast China over its treatment of its Muslim minorities and reliability as a business partner, but was met with a lukewarm response from the two Central Asian states.

Pompeo, who was making the first visit to the region by America's top-ranking diplomat since 2015, apparently left his hosts in Nur-Sultan and Tashkent feeling uncomfortable and drew the ire of China's embassy in Uzbekistan, which leveled accusations of "slander."

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