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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BISHKEK1726
2006-12-07 10:16:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bishkek
Cable title:  

KYRGYZ FOREIGN MINISTER ON POLITICS, ECONOMY,

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  KDEM  ASEC  KG 
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VZCZCXRO8809
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHEK #1726/01 3411016
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071016Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BISHKEK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8666
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1834
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY 1405
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2246
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1631
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 001726 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM ASEC KG
SUBJECT: KYRGYZ FOREIGN MINISTER ON POLITICS, ECONOMY,
SECURITY AND NGO PROBE

REF: A. BISHKEK 1706

B. BISHKEK 1701

C. BISHKEK 1621 (NOTAL)

D. BISHKEK 1602 (NOTAL)

BISHKEK 00001726 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch, Reason 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) SUMMARY: In a December 1 meeting, the Ambassador and
Foreign Minister Jekshenkulov discussed the current
political, economic and security situation; the Procurator
General's probe into the National Democratic Institute (NDI),
International Republican Institute (IRI) and IFES;, and
Kyrgyz-U.S. bilateral relations. On all fronts, the FM
appeared positive, but he said concrete steps were needed to
improve the economic situation. Jekshenkulov said that
Kyrgyzstan would naturally maintain closer ties with CIS
countries, implying that strengthening ties with the West was
difficult because of the systemic and geographic distances.
The FM acknowledged the effective manner in which Kyrgyzstan
and the U.S. have worked together on security and economic
development issues. Jekshenkulov said he had written to the
Procurator General regarding the probe into our democracy
partners, and he cautioned against considering the probe a
"political action." The Ambassador thanked the FM for the
Kyrgyz Government's cooperation in the investigation of the
abduction/car-jacking of the USAID Country Representative's
wife. END SUMMARY.

THE NEED FOR A STRONG ECONOMY, ABOVE ALL


--------------------------





2. (C) On December 1, the Ambassador met with Foreign
Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov to preview key issues prior to
the FM's meeting with SCA DAS Evan Feigenbaum December 3 at
the OSCE Ministerial in Brussels. They discussed the current
political, economic, and security situation; the Procurator
General's investigation of NDI, IRI and IFES; and Kyrgyz-U.S.
bilateral relationship. The FM was generally positive about
the bilateral relationship, as well as Kyrgyzstan's political
and economic development, but he also emphasized the
importance of U.S. assistance to economic development. As an
example of the ways in which the U.S. could provide
assistance in this area, Jekshenkulov referred to the
Kyrgyz-American Business Council and the Fund for the Support
of Entrepreneurs -- two mechanisms that existed some years
ago. Jekshenkulov added that once the overall economic
situation improved, all other bilateral political and
security issues would "fall into place." The Ambassador
detailed for the FM some U.S. projects in the economic
sphere, including an update on the Regional Energy Market
Assistance Program (REMAP). Jekshenkulov appeared
interested, but said that detailed information about the
project is necessary to determine priorities.



3. (C) The FM noted that closer political and economic
relations were easier to achieve with the countries of the
CIS, than with the U.S., due to historical, systemic, and
geographic ties with those countries. Jekshenkulov said that

Kyrgyzstan was "far from Europe" and the West, and thus "had
no choice" but to stay closer to the Commonwealth. The
Ambassador said that a balance can exist with the West and
CIS, referencing Kyrgyzstan's potential for increased energy
exports and the USG's willingness to provide assistance in
that area.

CONFUSION OVER ACTIVITIES OF PROCURATOR GENERAL


--------------------------

--



4. (C) Regarding the Procurator's probe into the local
activities of NDI, IRI and IFES (Refs A and B), Jekshenkulov
said that he sent a letter to the Procurator General,
inquiring about the investigation. He urged the Ambassador
not to view the Procurator's activities as a "political
action." Jekshenkulov claimed that he was not aware of the
details surrounding the probe, and that more information was
needed before the MFA could respond to the Embassy's

BISHKEK 00001726 002.2 OF 002


diplomatic note on the matter. The FM added that even Kyrgyz
sometimes have trouble understanding each other and their
motivations, making it much more difficult to comprehend what
was happening. The Ambassador said that it was difficult to
understand the Procurator's probe as anything but a political
signal, since the Procurator did not have a specific
complaint against any of the three organizations, and all
three are U.S. democracy NGOs.

COOPERATION KEY FOR SECURITY


--------------------------





5. (C) The Ambassador thanked the FM for the government's
assistance and cooperation in the investigation into the
abduction of the wife of the USAID Country Representative
(Refs C and D). Unaware of the particulars surrounding the
case, Jekshenkulov did point out that crime -- organized
crime in particular -- remains a problem in Kyrgyzstan,
affecting MFA employees as well. To help curb the activities
of criminal elements throughout the country, the FM hoped
that U.S. and Kyrgyz authorities could continue to cooperate
in a constructive manner, to avoid the possibility of the
Embassy having to issue a travel warning for Kyrgyzstan. The
Ambassador added that if the Embassy's Surveillance Detection
Team had been in place, the incident might have been
prevented. The Ambassador also told the FM that she had
already requested PM Kulov to take the matter of the SD Team
under his jurisdiction for resolution, adding that the safety
of Embassy employees and their families is a matter of great
importance for all concerned parties, including the MFA.



6. (C) COMMENT: We are not certain to what the Foreign
Minister was referring when he brought up the
"Kyrgyz-American Business Council" and the "Fund for the
Support of Entrepreneurs." We have asked the MFA for
additional information. Over the years, there have been
different proposals to promote business cooperation between
the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan. Several years ago, current MP
Bolotbek Maripov and a group of Kyrgyz businessmen approached
the Embassy to set up an organization that would enable
Kyrgyz businesses to interact with their American
counterparts, but the idea soon died without funding. There
was also a small group of businessmen and bankers that met on
an ad hoc basis. According to preliminary information from
the MFA, a "Kyrgyz-American Business Council" was set up
seven or eight years ago; it initially participated in
meetings in the U.S. during Kyrgyz ministerial visits, but
has otherwise been inactive. (Note: The FM was not
referring to the American Chamber of Commerce in Kyrgyzstan,
which was established in 2005 and has grown to approximately
70 members. End note). With the "Fund for the Support of
Entrepreneurs," the Foreign Minister may have been referring
to request made earlier this year to USAID to fund a
"Competitiveness Support Fund" and a proposal in 2004 to
establish a "Kyrgyz-American Fund for Business Cooperation."
We will continue to work with the MFA to develop further
details of the FM's ideas, but we have our doubts whether
such programs could produce positive results until Kyrgyzstan
takes concrete steps to improve its business and investment
climate.

YOVANOVITCH