Kyrgyzstan–United States relations
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. For example, the United States helped the Kyrgyz Republic accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 1998.
Following 9/11, the U.S. has increased its interest in this part of the world, leading to divisions in opinion and welcome. The US opened the Transit Center at Manas in December 2001 following the 9/11 incident. Both Russia and China were dismayed and in later years reportedly offered large bounties if Kyrgyzstan closed the base. In 2006, the President of Kyrgyzstan demanded further concessions to the agreement and in this year a US Air Force personnel officer was kidnapped (media later reported inconsistenties in this account; the USAF reconfirmed a kidnapping took place in 2012). 2006 also saw the killing of a Kyrgyz civilian wielding a knife by a US serviceman with a gun. Local Kyrgyz sentiment and media was outraged as the Kyrgyz region is plagued by lawlessness, banditry, and smuggling and the carrying or even threatening with a knife is relatively common in Kyrgyz street culture. For the Americans, still reeling and devastated from the 9/11 terrorist assault on their largest city, any forcible entry by a civilian into a military base can and is met with deadly force. The US military placed the serviceman under administrative punishment and an undisclosed financial settlement was made to the family.
In July 2015, the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs ceased a bilateral cooperation treaty signed by the two countries in 1993, amidst protests by the Kyrgyz foreign ministry over the U.S. Department of State's decision to award the 2014 Human Rights Defender Award to Kyrgyz prisoner Azimzhan Askarov, a journalist and political activist who was arrested for his contributions in the 2010 South Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes. The U.S. has since warned Kyrgyzstan of the cancellation's consequences regarding the provision of humanitarian and security aid. Three months later, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kyrgyzstan in an effort to ease bilateral ties.
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.
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Principal U.S. Officials:
- Ambassador—Marie L. Yovanovitch
- Deputy Chief of Mission—Lee Litzenberger
- Political-Economic Officer—Robert Burgess
- Management Officer—Mona Kuntz
- USAID Director—vacant
The U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic is located in Bishkek.
- Foreign relations of the United States
- Foreign relations of Kyrgyzstan
- Great Game
- Transit Center at Manas
- U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
- "Kyrgyzstan Ends U.S. Cooperation Agreement Amid Human Rights Dispute". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. July 21, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- Solovyov, Dmitry (July 21, 2015). "Kyrgyzstan cancels cooperation treaty with United States". Reuters. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- Clark, Dave (October 31, 2015). "US smooths Kyrgyzstan ties after rights row". Yahoo! News. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
Media related to Kyrgyzstan – United States relations at Wikimedia Commons