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Аlmazbek Atambayev: Region will not have bright future without democracy

«If there’s no democracy, then neither the region nor the world will have a bright future,» Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said in an interview with TIME magazine, which he gave during his visit to New York.

The head of state gave an example — a spike of terrorism in the world. «Currently it’s Daesh (the Islamic State), but later it will be something else. What’s the cause of this terrorism? And why only in Muslim countries? Because it’s in Muslim countries that the inequality and social injustice is most visible among the people; because some regimes call themselves republics but in fact are authoritarian and dictatorial where there’s no justice and there’s a wide social gap between the rich and poor. In such situations, when ordinary people don’t have the opportunity to change power in a democratic way, where there’s a lack of social mobility, then radical ideas start ruling,» the president noted.

According to the head of state, as long as there’s no democracy or social justice in these countries, this fight against terror won’t lead to victory.

«As long as Muslims don’t see a third way—that there can be a Muslim country with democracy and one that prospers under it—then we can’t stop the radicalization of Islam. In Kyrgyzstan, we want to show just that to Muslim countries; our population is 90 percent Muslim,» the president said.