Roza Otunbayeva, chairman of the interim government of the Kyrgyz Republic, discussed the recent upheaval in Kyrgyzstan and prospects for the country's political future and relations with the United States, Russia, China, and Europe.
The U.N. special envoy to Kyrgyzstan is working alongside the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis there. The United States should resist the temptation to engage in a backroom deal to decide Kyrgyzstan’s fate.
The recent resignation of President Bakiyev, in the wake of a popular uprising that removed him from power, has given Kyrgyzstan a chance to avoid becoming a failed state.
Public hostility toward the Kyrgyz government escalated over the past weeks, leading to the recent street protests and demonstrations that seem to have topped the government of President Bakiyev.
The Tulip Revolution did not mark the emergence of democracy in Kyrgyzstan. To the contrary, since 2005, limits on political rights and freedoms and the strengthening of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s family rule have only increased.
The five post-Soviet Central Asian republics—Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—share common political, cultural, and historical roots, but they are far from homogeneous, and continuing domestic and regional tensions could lead to violent conflict.
As the war in Afghanistan begins to enter a new phase, it is important to reexamine some of the premises of U.S. policy in the Central Asian region and to consider whether the conditions in the region have changed in the last decade.
The Carnegie Endowment, working with Central Asia’s Eco-Energy Alliance, launched the pilot regional project in Tajikistan to demonstrate how linking renewable energy to Internet access can be a tool for alleviating social problems.
While the U.S.-led NATO operations in Afghanistan have resulted in somewhat enhanced security capacity for Central Asian countries, their long-term security challenges seem to be increasing, given the current situation in Afghanistan and the growing instability of Pakistan.
The development and diversification of Central Asia’s energy sector will provide more power for citizens and businesses, contribute to the region’s economic security, and give the region a firm footing in a growth industry of global importance.