Michele sent the following message today to everyone in the Radios:
"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Sojida Djakhfarova as Director of the Uzbek Service. Since July of last year, Sojida has led a very committed team through a dangerous and difficult time. The team has continued to produce excellent and hard-hitting news despite the harassment and intimidation of our correspondents in Uzbekistan and the forced closure of our Tashkent bureau. Sojida joined the Radios in 1996 as a freelancer for the Tajik Service in Moscow. She's been the bureau chief in Dushanbe, the Acting Director of the Tajik Service, and the Coordinator of RFE/RL's Youth Programs. Please join me in congratulating Sojida on her well-deserved appointment.
And congratulations to all the member of the Uzbek Service for their exceptional performance during these past 16 months."
That means their plan has failed. I congratulated Sojida by saying:
That's terrific news. Before leaving RFE let me congratulate you with your new solid and certain position and wish you all the best. I wish you prosperous and fruitful years in Uzbek Section.
She thanked me afterwards and invited me for a cup of coffee. I kindly declined the invitation, since Tajik samosas had not been mentioned in the message.