Islam Karimov’s death has been finally confirmed by the Uzbek government, six days after he was taken to hospital with a suspected brain hemorrhage.
The Uzbek president died at the age of 78, after27 years in power.
One of Asia’s most authoritarian leaders.
Islam Karimov’s funeral will be overseen by PM Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who is seen as a potential successor.
According to rights groups, Islam Karimov, one of Asia’s most authoritarian leaders, repressed opposition to his rule but for supporters he represented stability.
Islam Karimov will be buried on September 3 in his home city of Samarkand and three days of mourning will be observed.
A UN report has described the use of torture under Islam Karimov as “systematic”.
Islam Karimov often justified his strong-arm tactics by highlighting the danger from Islamist militancy in the mainly Muslim country, which borders Afghanistan.
Expressing his condolences in a statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Islam Karimov as a statesman “who had contributed to the security and stability of Central Asia” and who would be a “great loss for the people of Uzbekistan”.
Vladimir Putin addressed his message to Uzbek senate leader Nigmatulla Yuldashev who, under the constitution, becomes acting president pending early elections.
Nigmatulla Yuldashev is unlikely to fill the presidential role more permanently, analysts say.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been in office since 2003 and his deputy, Rustam Azimov, is also seen as a key player.
News of Islam Karimov’s death was finally confirmed after several foreign leaders and diplomatic sources reported it on September 2, following days of rumors that he had already died.
A state TV presenter said on September 2 in the evening: “Dear compatriots, it is with an immense pain in our hearts that we inform you of the death of our dear president.”
One of Islam Karimov’s daughters, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, posted a black square on Instagram with the words: “He left us… I choose my words and cannot believe it myself…”
Earlier on Friday, Turkish PM Binali Yildirim broke news of the death at a televised meeting of his cabinet.
Reports from diplomatic sources suggested several regional leaders were making plans to visit Samarkand for Islam Karimov’s funeral.
Russia’s PM Dmitry Medvedev is expected to represent his country.