The departing president of Kyrgyzstan, the small but strategically important Central Asian country that houses a vital American air base for supplying the NATO war effort in neighboring Afghanistan, expressed deep concern on Wednesday about the potential for a contagious economic collapse in Afghanistan when foreign military forces withdraw.
Since the April 7, 2010 regime change in Kyrgyzstan, experts have debated whether the country is leaning more toward Russia or the United States. President Roza Otunbayeva has met with both the Russian and US presidents, participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana and visited several European capitals. Kyrgyz government officials and the parliament, however, have leaned more toward strengthening cooperation with Moscow and Kazakhstan. Which of the directions has been Kyrgyzstan’s priority in the past year?
A couple of weeks ago, Kyrgyzstan's president, Roza Otunbayeva, announced that the country was planning to construct two counterterror training centers in the southern part of the country, and that one would be built by Russia and the other by the U.S. Her announcement raised a lot of questions, which I posed to Alisher Khamidov, a EurasiaNet contributor and expert on southern Kyrgyzstan. He said that fears of Islamist militants from Tajikistan as well as the military of Uzbekistan are motivating Kyrgyzstan to develop the centers, and that Otunbayeva puts a higher priority on the U.S. center than on the Russian one.
As Kyrgyzstan marks the first anniversary of the April 7, 2010 regime change after a year full of dramatic changes, ambiguity about the country’s recent past prevails. The public and political leadership still grapples with interpreting the meaning of April 7 as well as the ethnic violence in June 2010, in southern Kyrgyzstan. Instead, rumors triumph while competing political factions prefer to use this uncertainty for their own purposes.
In what could be a new fight over export duties, Russia has stopped transporting petrol fuel to Kyrgyzstan as of Feb. 15, after the Kyrgyz government decided to nationalize one of its largest telecom companies.
During his visit to Bishkek on February 2, Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with Kyrgyz President, Roza Otunbayeva, and the head of government, Almazbek Atambayev. The meeting yielded a number of important political and economic results. By the end of 2011, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey will have a visa-free regime. Erdogan promised the funds will be transferred as early as next month. Erdogan will also encourage up to $450 million in investment.
One the eve of her visit to Kazakhstan President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva gave an interview to Kazinform agency.
Kazakhstan's OSCE presidency will be remembered for the country's efforts to give a new impulse to this authoritative international organization and effective and decisive actions made during the events in Kyrgyzstan in 2010.
The situation in Kyrgyzstan generated an emotive exchange between Kazakh and Uzbek officials during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Astana, on December 1-2, highlighting continuing disagreements between neighbors.
One of the most important achievements of Kazakhstan during the years of independence is its election to be the first state in the CIS, Asia, Muslim and Turkic world to chair the OSCE. Our country managed to organize the OSCE Summit on December 1-2 this year in Astana. This event will give a new impetus to the activity of the Organization after 11-year pause in top-level meetings.