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EU Promises Kyrgyzstan Cooperation In Exchange For Reforms

The EU has promised aid if President Bakiev can implement key reforms (RFE/RL) 12 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- European Union officials told a visiting high-level Kyrgyz delegation in Brussels today that it will provide increased political and economic support if the country implements certain reforms.

This was the first meeting of the EU-Kyrgyz cooperation council -- which meets annually to review the implementation of the partnership accord between the two sides -- since the 10 July presidential elections.

A joint statement says the EU is keen to see constitutional reform, democratization, and improvements in the investment climate.

Without directly addressing the EU requests, Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Kanat Tursunkulov told RFE/RL today that his country hopes become an example for other countries in the region.

"As we know, Kyrgyzstan is probably a priority country in the Central Asian region for the European Union. Some reforms in our country -- like democratic reforms and economic reforms -- should be examples for other countries as projects promoted [and financed] by the European Union."

Tursunkulov said Kyrgyzstan is most interested in EU expertise and financial aid.

The EU praised Kyrgyzstan for allowing Uzbek refugees to be resettled in other countries and urged the government to facilitate the departure of four remaining Uzbeks fleeing from repression in the wake of the Andijon massacre in May.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)

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RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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