U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kyrgyzstan. His visit to Bishkek is a part of his Central Asia tour.++
John Kerry will hold bilateral meeting with the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev and the Foreign Affairs Minister of Kyrgyzstan Erlan Abdyldaev. He will expectedly attend the opening of the new campus of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) and the building of the US Embassy in Bishkek.
In March 1997, National Security Advisor to the U.S. President Samuel Berger ranked Central Asia among the "priority areas for US diplomacy." The same year, the Pentagon has included the region in the zone of responsibility of the U.S. Central Command.
The United States has stepped up cooperation with the countries of Central Asia after the start of military operations in Afghanistan. Since 2001 Manas airbase was located in the territory of Kyrgyzstan, later on in 2009 it was transformed into the Transit Center at Manas. The rent amounted to $ 60 million per year. American troops have been withdrawn from the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014.
The United States is one of the largest donors of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since 1991 the amount of aid has reached $ 1.5 billion. According to the U.S. Department of State, in 2015 Kyrgyzstan will receive $ 41.7 million as a part of financial assistance to countries of the region.
Since 2011, the United States have been implementing New Silk Road program in the region. Implementation of CASA-1000 project to transport electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan (the total cost of the project is $ 1.2 billion) is also planned.
In 2015 Kyrgyzstan unilaterally denounced the Agreement on Cooperation dated May 19, 1993 between the governments of Kyrgyzstan and the United States. The decision was made after the awarding by the U.S. Department of State the human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of organizing mass disorders, separatism and murder of a police officer during the June 2010 events.
Washington expressed disappointment with the decision of Bishkek, saying that it would continue supporting the people of the former Soviet republic.
During the parliamentary elections on October 4, the Head of the Kyrgyz Republic, answering the questions of journalists, criticized Azattyk radio and reproached it for editorial policy under the patronage of the United States. "We have, probably, to place a mark on these sites that they are funded by the U.S. Department of State or the Ministry of Finance of Russia. Then people will understand why a particular media plays such a game. When I see these games - to destabilize the situation in Kyrgyzstan in any way- it infuriates me. After all, representatives of the media, financed by the U.S. Department of State, should remember the words of Barack Obama. He said that democracy is above all. If you do not like something, start with other countries. There are plenty of them in the region. There is not even a drop of democracy in them," Almazbek Atambayev said.
Photo from the Internet.