Kyrgyzstan has experienced a year of significant changes and political achievements, including a popular uprising against a president and a move to a parliamentary system of government, and many challenges still lie ahead.
While Kyrgyzstan's newly elected parliament has convened its first session, there is still no ruling coalition and the situation in the country remains unpredictable.
Last June's ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, along with the performance of the country's new parliamentary system of government, will have wide-ranging implications for Central Asia and for regional security.
Following the June violence, Kyrgyzstan remains gripped by uncertainty surrounding rebuilding in the South and the upcoming parliamentary election. There is a strong potential for continued conflict in the country if these issues are not addressed.
The international community can help bring much-needed stability to Kyrgyzstan, which has experienced violent ethnic clashes as its leaders lay the groundwork for Central Asia’s first genuine parliamentary democracy.
The future for Kyrgyzstan remains unclear and the nature of the political systems in other Central Asian states creates the risk that conflicts such as those recently seen in Kyrgyzstan could break out in neighboring countries.
The crisis in Kyrgyzstan presents an opportunity for the three multilateral groups working in the area to do real, immediate good while building trust and demonstrating that cooperation is possible in the increasingly interconnected and fragile Eurasian security space.
As Moscow grapples with the question of whether to intervene to stop the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, it is forced to confront a vexing issue: can Russia utilize its political and military potential to help resolve local and regional conflicts in Central Asia?
Lasting change eluded Kyrgyzstan in 2005 when Bakiyev came to power. Now that his regime has collapsed, the new leaders will have to work hard to earn back the trust of the Kyrgyz people.
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.