"Central Asia is a region of significant importance to U.S. national interests," said U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake. With regard to Kyrgyzstan, the United States' primary goal is to help the country develop into a stable democratic state that respects the rights of all its citizens.
The U.S. is focused on helping Kyrgyzstan regain its political footing after the April populist uprising overthrew President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and brought a provisional government headed by Roza Otunbayeva to power. Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan from June 10th to 14th killed hundreds of people and displaced around 400,000, with approximately 100,000 fleeing temporarily to neighboring Uzbekistan.
The security situation has generally stabilized but tensions remain in the south. That's why the U.S. has committed more than $48 million, which will include support to promote reconciliation in the south. The immediate goal is to provide humanitarian assistance to all those who were displaced by the violence.
The United States welcomes the decision by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to agree to a police advisory group that will be deployed to Kyrgyzstan to support the efforts by authorities to reduce inter-ethnic tensions, restore public order and strengthen police capacities.
Another means to bring about reconciliation is to ensure that the local Kyrgyzstani law enforcement and judicial institutions are reliable and credible and earn the trust of the people. There also needs to be a serious investigation launched into the causes of the violence in June, in particular to ensure accountability for those who were responsible.
Ultimately, Kyrgyzstan needs to put down democratic roots. Part of the U.S. assistance includes funding to support free and fair parliamentary elections in October.
The U.S. will provide assistance for among other things, local election officials’ training, journalist training, media monitoring and coverage, and elections observers. The U.S. is also providing long-term support to strengthen democratic governance, reconciliation, civil society, independent media, and human rights.
The United States and the international community want to work with the Provisional Government and with the people of Kyrgyzstan to help the country establish democracy, provide assistance to all those who were affected by the recent violence, and encourage reconciliation to assist in the country’s stabilization.