New Ambaster

The new Ambaster

New ambassador gives you the opportunity to begin all over again. The new US embassador to Kyrgyzstan, Donald Lu, recently moved to Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan, a nation with some room for manoeuvre in terms of reform, is often ignored in US external relations. Kyrgyzstan is situated in a part of the world where the United States is trying to gain a firm foothold and foster instability, and is the centre of the great powers' competition between China, Russia and the United States.

In spite of its long-standing ally with Russia - and although it is encircled by auto-cracies in the western (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan) and eastern (China) regions - Kyrgyzstan conducted the most pro-democracy Central Asian polls in a year only. As a result of the electoral process, a change of government took place peacefully, with the former governor passing the baton to his premier.

Although Kyrgyzstan is a developing democratic state, its balance of humanitarian law is bleak. For example, the former regime aimed at celebrity defenders of fundamental freedoms by restricting their freedom of expression and making it more challenging for them to go abroad. On some occasions, the administration even went so far as to throw them in jail.

Defenders of fundamental freedoms are not the only ones detained for politically motivated causes. Atambaev' s former presidential administration in 2017 sentenced Omurbek Tekebaev, former Kyrgyz parliamentary leader, to jail for accusing him of corrupt practices. Meanwhile, the new chairman, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, has not indicated whether he will liberate Tekebaev or not.

That does not mean that Kyrgyzstan has made no headway. However, even if the Kyrgyz Republic itself will and must be the source of the necessary political support for Kyrgyzstan' s own political and economic development, Ambassador Lu could help in this area, in particular through a stronger commitment and advocacy towards political and economic change, the end of bribery, the improvement of state openness and the strengthening of the Rule of law.

Mr Jeenbekov has done little to get in touch with the United States and has worked quickly to build better relations with China, Turkey and the European Union. However, if the United States is to retain a sensible Diplomatic Presence in the area and to press ahead with reform within Kyrgyzstan, this ongoing conflict must be resolved.

The reconstruction of relations with the United States is also in Kyrgyzstan's interest. While continuing its anti-corruption effort and promoting the Rule of Law, the Kyrgyz authorities could profit from the US military aid. If the new administration is serious about extending its work in these areas, there is an option for the United States to give it professional and funding backing.

The United States' assistance could also help Kyrgyzstan's endeavours to develop a more humanitarian penal system. Related initatives could include supporting new reform to make sure that the citizens' prerogatives of detainees are upheld. Destroying the emigration of Kyrgyzstan from the democratic system could be helped by the presence of Ambassador Lu.

An improved Kyrgyzstan-United States relation founded on observance of fundamental freedoms and the Rule of Law would be beneficial not only to both Kyrgyzstan and the United States, but to the whole area.

Mehr zum Thema