The US has made support for Kyrgyzstan’s democracy a cornerstone of Central Asia strategy
Bishkek, July 27 / Kabar /. “The United States has made support for Kyrgyzstan’s democracy a cornerstone of our Central Asia strategy. We remain committed to the people of Kyrgyzstan as they work to further develop democratic institutions and practices”, said Robert Blake, assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in his testimony on U.S. Engagement in Central Asia before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia.
“The U.S. allocated nearly ten million dollars in support of civil society, rule of law, human rights and democratic reform in fiscal year 2012 and in our 2013 request. As part of the 2010 parliamentary and 2011 presidential election cycles in Kyrgyzstan, our assistance funded training for over 50,000 election officials across the country. That support and the hard work of the government and voters in Kyrgyzstan have enabled great progress towards democracy, with competitive elections in 2010 and 2011. As a result of the 2011 elections, the people of Kyrgyzstan accomplished a peaceful and democratic transfer of presidential power, something that has never happened before in Central Asia. This is profound change that affirms the rights and expectations of ordinary citizens, and shapes our long-term view of the close partnership between our countries. In order to fully realize and sustain its democratic goals, we continue to urge Kyrgyzstan to work actively on national reconciliation. Meaningful democracy requires that the rights of all of Kyrgyzstan’s citizens be respected and upheld fully throughout the justice and law enforcement systems, as required by Kyrgyzstan’s constitution and its international obligations. The United States continues to engage interlocutors regularly in Kyrgyzstan so that we make clear the critical importance of ending abuses of detainees and holding the perpetrators of such abuses accountable under the rule of law. This is especially important for all cases arising out of the June 2010 violence. Next month, I will lead the U.S. delegation to the Annual Bilateral Consultation with Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan continues to be a strong partner in international coalition efforts in Afghanistan, especially in hosting the Transit Center at Manas International Airport in support of coalition operations. The United States looks forward to continuing our longstanding cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic to address regional challenges of terrorism and narcotics trafficking”, said R. Blake.