Foreign relations of Kyrgyzstan
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While Kyrgyzstan was initially determined to stay in the ruble zone, the stringent conditions set forth by the Russian Government prompted Kyrgyzstan to introduce its own currency, the som, in May 1993. Kyrgyzstan's withdrawal from the ruble zone was done with little prior notification and initially caused tensions in the region. Both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan temporarily suspended trade, and Uzbekistan even introduced restrictions tantamount to economic sanctions. Both nations feared an influx of rubles and an increase in inflation. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan's hostility toward Kyrgyzstan was short-lived, and the three nations signed an agreement in January 1994 creating an economic union. This led to the relaxation of border restrictions between the nations the following month. Kyrgyzstan also has contributed to the CIS peacekeeping forces in Tajikistan.
Turkey has sought to capitalize on its cultural and ethnic links to the region and has found Kyrgyzstan receptive to cultivating bilateral relations. The Kyrgyz Republic also has experienced a dramatic increase in trade with the People's Republic of China, its southern neighbor. Kyrgyzstan has been active in furthering regional cooperation, such as joint military exercises with Uzbek and Kazakh troops.
In January 1999, a new OSCE office opened in Bishkek; on February 18, 2000 the OSCE announced that an additional office will be opened in Osh to assist Bishkek in carrying out its work. Kyrgyzstan is a member of the OSCE, the CIS, and the United Nations.
Kyrgyzstan is a limited illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption. There is a limited government eradication program. Kyrgyzstan is used increasingly as a transshipment point for illicit drugs to Russia and Western Europe from Southwest Asia.
People's Republic of China
As of 1996, China-Kyrgyzstan relations were an area of substantial uncertainty for the government in Bishkek. The free-trade zone in Naryn attracted large numbers of Chinese businesspeople, who came to dominate most of the republic's import and export of small goods. Most of this trade is in barter conducted by ethnic Kyrgyz or Kazakhs who are Chinese citizens. The Kyrgyzstani government has expressed alarm over the numbers of Chinese who are moving into Naryn and other parts of Kyrgyzstan, but no preventive measures had been taken as of 1996.
Bilateral relationships between the countries are very strong and Kyrgyz and Kazakh are very close in terms of language, culture and religion. Kyrgyz-Kazakh relationships have always been friendly and economic and other formal unifications of two countries have been greeted with strong appreciation since the two nations have a lot in common. On Apr. 26, 2007 Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement to create an "International Supreme Council". This historic event took place during an official visit of the Kazakh president to the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek.
Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan relations have been tense. Refugees and antigovernment fighters in Tajikistan have crossed into Kyrgyzstan several times, even taking hostages. Kyrgyzstan attempted to assist in brokering an agreement between contesting Tajikistani forces in October 1992 but without success. Askar Akayev later joined presidents Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbayev in sending a joint intervention force to support Tajikistan's president Imomali Rahmonov against insurgents, but the Kyrgyzstani parliament delayed the mission of its small contingent for several months until late spring 1993. In mid-1995 Kyrgyzstani forces had the responsibility of sealing a small portion of the Tajikistan border near Panj from Tajikistani rebel forces.
Uzbekistan dominates southern Kyrgyzstan both economically and politically, based on the large Uzbek population in that region of Kyrgyzstan and on economic and geographic conditions. Much of Kyrgyzstan depends entirely on Uzbekistan for natural gas; on several occasions, Karimov has achieved political ends by shutting pipelines or by adjusting terms of delivery. In a number of television appearances broadcast in the Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces of Kyrgyzstan, Karimov has addressed Akayev with considerable condescension; Akayev, in turn, has been highly deferential to his much stronger neighbor. Although Uzbekistan has not shown overt expansionist tendencies, the Kyrgyz government is acutely aware of the implications of Karimov's assertions that he is responsible for the well-being of all Uzbeks, regardless of their nation of residence.
Rest of world
- Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. Greece is represented in Kyrgyzstan through its embassy in Almaty (Kazakhstan). Kyrgyzstan is represented in Greece through a non resident ambassador based in Bishkek (in the Foreign Ministry). Kyrgyz consular representation in Greece is made by the Kazakh consulate in Athens.
- On November 1, 2004, Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev made an official visit to Greece. A Foreign Ministry delegation from Greece visited Dushanbe for talks, and had meetings with Tajikistans Foreign Minister Zarifi and First Deputy Foreign Minister Youldashev in 2008. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met with Tajikistans Foreign Minister Zarifi during the 1st EU-Central Asia Forum on security issues in Paris in September 2008.
- There are between 650 and 700 people of Greek descent living in Kyrgyzstan. However, the data of the General Secretariat For Greeks Abroad give an even lower number (50 people).
- In 2004 Greece and Kyrgyzstan signed a bilateral agreement for air transports, tourism and diplomacy during Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev's visit to Greece.
Whereas the other Central Asian republics have sometimes complained of Russian interference, Kyrgyzstan has more often wished for more attention and support from Moscow than it has been able to obtain. For all the financial support that the world community has offered, Kyrgyzstan remains economically dependent on Russia, both directly and through Kazakhstan. In early 1995, Askar Akayev, the then President of Kyrgyzstan, attempted to sell Russian companies controlling shares in the republic's twenty-nine largest industrial plants, an offer that Russia refused.
The U.S. government provides humanitarian assistance, non-lethal military assistance, and assistance to support economic and political reforms. It also has supported the Kyrgyz Republic's requests for assistance from international organizations. The United States helped the Kyrgyz Republic accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 1998. U.S. assistance aids the Kyrgyz Republic in implementing necessary economic, health sector, and educational reforms, and supports economic development and conflict resolution in the Fergana Valley. (See also American Chamber of Commerce in Kyrgyzstan.)
- Martha Brill Olcott. "Central Asian Neighbors". Kyrgyzstan: a country study (Glenn E. Curtis, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (March 1996). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Tajikistan". Greece. Retrieved 2009-05-21. "Greece and Tajikistan established diplomatic relations in 1992. The stabilization of the country following the civil war and its increasing presence as part of the international community are expected to offer an opportunity for substantially developing its bilateral relations with Greece."
- "Greece, Kyrgyzstan sign bilateral accords". ANA. 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-22. "Greece and Kyrgyzstan on Monday signed three bilateral accords in the sectors of air transports, tourism and diplomacy, during a meeting between President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and his Kyrgyz counterpart Askare Askayev, who is in Athens on a state visit."
- "Kyrgyz president in Greece". BBC. November 1, 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-22. "Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev left for Greece on an official visit on 31 October"
- Kyrgyzstan: The Greek Community. Hellenic Republic: Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- "General Information". General Secretariat For Greeks Abroad. Retrieved 2009-05-07.[dead link]
- "Kyrgyzstan, Greece sign cooperation accords". BBC. 2004-11-01. Retrieved 2009-05-22. "Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev met Greek President Konstandinos Stefanopoulos in a narrow circle in Athens as part of an official visit to Greece on 1 November 2004. There was an exchange of views on a wide range of issues of cooperation..."
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