In a message to Uzbekistan’s acting President Nigmatilla Yuldashev on Friday, Rouhani expressed his sympathy to him, Karimov’s family, and the Uzbek government and nation over the president’s demise.
In a televised meeting with his cabinet, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım confirmed reports that the Uzbek president had suffered a fatal stroke earlier this week and said, “May God’s mercy be upon him.”
Reuters cited three diplomats as confirming Karimov’s death. “Yes, he has died,” one of the diplomatic sources told the news agency.
A top Kyrgyz diplomat and an Afghan government official said on Friday Uzbekistan would hold a funeral for the late president on Saturday.
The president had been expected to appear publicly on Thursday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Central Asian county’s independence from the Soviet Union. Later in the day, officials said a concert that was usually attended by Karimov and other state officials had been cancelled.
Karimov (seen below), who had been in power since 1990, has not named a successor. The head of Uzbekistan’s Senate would run the country after his death for three months until new elections.
Meanwhile, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili also on expressed condolences over Karimov’s death.
"We express our deep condolences over the death of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Islam Karimov led his country in the most difficult period of its history and under his leadership Uzbekistan achieved significant development, state building and prosperity," a statement on the Georgian presidential website said.