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Putin flies to Uzbekistan to meet with possible new leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited Uzbekistan where the president of nearly 27 years was laid to rest on Saturday, leaving no apparent successor.

Uzbekistan is former Soviet central Asia's most populous country and borders Afghanistan, making it of strategic interest to Russia and the United States.

Islam Karimov, who crushed opposition throughout his rule, was buried in his hometown of Samarkand on Saturday.

The chairman of the country's Senate has been declared interim head of state in line with the constitution, but it is unclear if he will succeed Mr Karimov as president.

Mr Putin visited Mr Karimov's grave and held a brief meeting with Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev, indicating that the prime minister is likely to get the job.

AP

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