Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests [June 5, 2006]   [open pdf - 216KB]

"On June 2, 2006, Kyrgyz authorities announced that two days of talks with a visiting U.S. delegation on the status of the U.S.-led coalition airbase at Manas had gone well and would be continued. In light of this progress, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev lifted a warning that the base might be closed if the United States did not agree by June 1 on higher lease payments. The European Union warned the Kyrgyz government on May 2 that 'there are worrying indications that circles connected with organized crime are attempting to gain influence over political life and state institutions' and urged the government to combat this growing crime and political violence. The U.S. Ambassador on April 17 also had raised concerns that crime and corruption increasingly threaten Kyrgyzstan's stability. Days before, there had been an assassination attempt against democracy and human rights advocate Edil Baysalov, after he had met with visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and reportedly warned him that democratization in Kyrgyzstan was faltering. According to a report issued by the non-governmental organization Global Witness in late April 2006, Turkmen President Saparamurad Niyazov personally controls a vast portion of the wealth generated from natural gas exports. The report also raises concerns about the involvement of alleged organized crime groups in the export business and urges the European Union to limit trade ties with Turkmenistan."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33458
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