>> Uzbekistan's new interim president, Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev's, appointment confirmed Thursday. He met Russian President Vladimir Putin this week and led the mourning at late leader Islam Karimov's funeral. Karimov dying of a stroke the week before after 27 years in charge. The interim president's appointment not following Uzbek convention, says Reuters Bureau Chief in Moscow, Christian Lowe.
>> According to the constitution, the interim leader should have been the speaker of Parliament. But it seems they decided to cut straight to the chase and appoint Mirziyoyev. It appears that the consensus is, from within the elite, that he will be the next leader.>> One of his biggest headaches, slightly the growing threat from Uzbek Islamic militants.
An estimated 2,000 of them currently fighting with Islamic State and other groups since Syria and Iraq. Fear now that their reach could be spreading from the Middle East to South Asia. Even into China.>> Another newer element that we're seeing, according to security officials in the region, is that they're making common cause with Uighur nationalists.
Now these are the Muslim separatists from Western China who reject Beijing's rule. And we've seen, in a couple of incidents recently, that the Uzbek Islamists are working with them. Which, of course, is a big worry for Beijing.>> The significant number of militants radicalized in Russia where Uzbeks often go looking for work.
With Karimov dead and Mirziyoyev officially only interim boss, the state's ability to contain the Islamists network is unclear. The worry for the new president is what to do if they bring their fight home to Uzbekistan.