Tensions are running high between Georgia, officials in separatist Abkhazia and Russia. On March 27, amid predictions of violence, a bomb was set off on a commuter train in Abkhazia, killing one and injuring fifteen. Georgia claimed that the bombing was part of a larger plan to prevent US training and equipping of Georgian troops.
Tension is rising in US-Iranian relations that may have an overall impact on the anti-terrorism campaign. Some US officials are specifically worried about the destabilizing effect that Iran may have on the Afghan peace process.
EurasiaNet contributor Ahmed Rashid interviewed the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi, and Major General Sir John McColl, the head of the International Security Assistance Force.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov's visit to Washington highlights the ongoing US-Uzbek cooperation in the War on Terror - cooperation that has raised concerns about Uzbekistan's troubled human rights record.
Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev's long-awaited visit to Iran, which was supposed to take place February 18-20, has been postponed indefinitely, due in part to his uncertain health. Aliyev has yet to return to Azerbaijan from the United States, where he is being treated for an undisclosed illness. Presidential aides say it is too soon to determine when the Iran visit will be rescheduled.
Uzbek officials recently denied Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty a license to broadcast in Uzbekistan, despite a visit to Tashkent by RFE/RL President Thomas Dine. The ability to broadcast in Uzbekistan would have allowed the Prague-based radio to significantly expand its listening audience in the Central Asian country. RFE/RL plans to continue short-wave broadcasting to Uzbekistan.
Against the backdrop of the US-led anti-terrorism campaign, Central Asian governments have tightened control over religious activities. A crackdown against Islamic radicals has been in progress for almost three years in Uzbekistan.
Afghanistan's interim government received an important boost February 8, when Pakistan announced its full support for Afghan reconstruction efforts. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf endorsed the work of the Afghan interim government during talks in Islamabad with Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's provisional president.