The most populous of the Central Asian republics, Uzbekistan is home to Samarkand and Bukhara, hubs along the old Silk Road that remain household names across South, East and Central Asia. The mineral-rich nation has the world's fourth-largest gold deposits, 10th-largest copper reserves and the 12th-largest supply of uranium. It also had one of the world's most repressive and corrupt regimes. Now, under a new leader since 2016, the country is enacting reforms and opening up to the outside world.

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