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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BISHKEK532 2006-04-19 12:29:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bishkek
Cable title:  

MFA PUBLICLY LASHES OUT AT AMBASSADOR

Tags:   PREL PGOV KG 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BISHKEK 000532 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV KG
SUBJECT: MFA PUBLICLY LASHES OUT AT AMBASSADOR

REF: A. BISHKEK 497

B. BISHKEK 343

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



1. (C) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: On April 18, the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a sharply worded statement,
rebuking Ambassador Yovanovitch for comments she made in
support of Kyrgyzstan's participation in the Highly Indebted
Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative during an April 15 interview
with local media (MFA statement attached below). The MFA
statement said the Ambassador's words "diverged from the
spirit of bilateral relations," and accused her of
interfering in the internal affairs of Kyrgyzstan. The MFA
statement was unprecedented, both for its harsh tone and the
public way it was released. Nevertheless, the statement had
little to do with HIPC and everything to do with Kyrgyz
domestic politics, as well as posturing on the eve of
Bakiyev's April 24 visit to Moscow. The government is under
severe pressure from the opposition, which is organizing a
major demonstration on April 29 (reftel a). In reaction to
opposition plans, the government appears to be getting
increasingly desperate, lashing out at the U.S. and
opposition, in hopes of cowing both into silence. The
statement marked the MFA's third (but first public) reprimand
of the Ambassador since February (reftel b). END SUMMARY AND
COMMENT.

"WE STILL WANT GOOD RELATIONS WITH U.S."


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





2. (C) On April 19, the Ambassador met with Foreign Minister
Jekshenkulov and Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Ermek
Ibraimov to discuss the MFA statement and President's
statement on the Coalition Airbase (septel). Ibraimov told
the Ambassador that the statement had been an MFA initiative,
and not at the behest of the Presidential Administration.
Ibraimov said that MFA statement and President Bakiyev's
April 19 public statement regarding Manas Airbase (septel)
should not be interpreted as any kind of Kyrgyz desire to
downgrade the bilateral relationship or provoke a
confrontation. It was merely an attempt to get Washington to
speed up the negotiations.



3. (C) In a meeting later on April 19, Foreign Minister
Jekshenkulov told the Ambassador that the MFA statement was
"our position," (but didn't specify what "our" means) and
said that he himself was against Kyrgyzstan's participation
in the program. Jekshenkulov said that the statement was
aimed not only at the U.S., but also at the Russians, Kazakhs
and others in the international community. He also claimed
that the statement was prompted after the MFA received a
number of angry calls from parliamentarians and others
complaining about the Ambassador's comments on HIPC. Like
Ibraimov, he denied any connection to the President's April
19 statement regarding Manas Airbase, and urged the
Ambassador to explain that Kyrgyzstan continues to want good
relations with the U.S.



4. (C) Jekshenkulov denied that either statement was
instigated by the Russians. Later in the conversation, he
noted that the Ambassador should "be careful." Pointing
north to Moscow, he said the Russian intelligence services
are active in Kyrgyzstan, and are closely tied to the Kyrgyz
services. Jekshenkulov said that the Kyrgyz National
Security Service (SNB) had recently provided a negative
report on the Ambassador's activities to Bakiyev. According
to Jekshenkulov, the President, "a Leo," became very angry
that "Maria wants a revolution."



5. (U) Begin MFA statement: Lately the attention of the
Kyrgyz public is chained to the issue of Kyrgyzstan's
entering the international program HIPC, which provides a
possible cancellation of a part of the external debt of the
country. The hot discussions that have developed by the issue
involving a wide spectrum of opinions directly underline the
significance of the given issue to which, most likely, can

BISHKEK 00000532 002 OF 003


play a main role in the further political and social and
economic development of our country.

The urgency of this question is confirmed by the fact that
representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in
Kyrgyzstan are involved in the discussions. During regular
meetings with the leadership of MFA, our foreign colleagues
articulate their opinions and views concerning Kyrgyzstan's
joining this program. At the same time, unfortunately,
sometimes participation of representatives of foreign
missions in discussion of the given theme goes beyond norms
of diplomatic relations, and also diverge from the spirit of
bilateral relations. In this connection, the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs would like to draw the attention to
statements published in the local media by US Ambassador
Yovanovitch, concerning Kyrgyzstan's participation in the
HIPC program.

In our opinion, Ambassador Yovanovitch did not chose the best
way to express her point of view on this matter. When there
is an active discussion of such an important question for the
country, and when the country's leaders have not yet made
their final decision on it, any public statement pro or con
by foreign diplomats on internal political and economic
problems is perceived as interference in the internal affairs
of the country and puts certain pressure upon the leadership
of Kyrgyzstan. In this connection, we would consider it
pertinent to remind, that in conformity with clause 41 of the
Vienna Convention about diplomatic relations, foreign
diplomats "are obliged to respect with laws and regulations
of the host state. They also are obliged not to interfere
with internal affairs of this state."

Moreover, we see as erroneous attempts by Ambassador
Yovanovitch to present the experiences of 28 countries that
entered the HIPC as positive. First, according to our data
and data of the UN Commission on Trade, Harvard University,
the American Council on the International Research and other
influential organizations, it is simply contrary to reality.
Any country which has accepted conditions of the HIPC
program, has not received the promised economic growth, and
have kept the status of &raw material producing countries8.
Secondly, everyone should understand, that any country has
its own particular circumstances, that do not allow certain
international formulas and schemes of economic policy to be
automatically applied on them.

In connection with the above-stated, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs calls on Ambassador Yovanovitch and heads of
diplomatic missions accredited in Kyrgyzstan to refrain from
further public statements deemed as interference into
internal affairs of Kyrgyzstan and contrary to the spirit of
mutual relations and the Vienna Convention on diplomatic
relations, on issues not only concerning HIPC, but also on
other internal problems of political and economic character.

Defending the sovereign rights of Kyrgyzstan, the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs will adhere firmly henceforth to principles
of the protection of national interests of Kyrgyzstan. End
MFA statement.

COMMENT


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





6. (C) The Ambassador's comments on HIPC were innocuous, and
both the Finance Ministry and Prime Minister's office support
participating in the program (Bakiyev's position is unknown,
although he supported the initiative last summer).
Kyrgyzstan has officially applied to participate in HIPC - in
most countries that would be considered an official country
position, but not in Kyrgyzstan, where the Prime Minister and
President can never agree.



7. (C) The Ambassador's interview provided an excuse for the
MFA to publicly dress-down the U.S. on the eve of Bakiyev's
April 24 visit to Moscow, and as the Kyrgyz Government grows
more desperate by the day to stop opposition plans for a

BISHKEK 00000532 003 OF 003


massive demonstration on April 29. In recent days the
government has increasingly played from the Akayev crisis
management handbook ) smear the opposition, lash out at the
Americans, and cozy up to the Russians. The MFA statement
was intended to silence the U.S. and other international
critics. Recent U.S. public statements about the assault on
civil society leader Edil Baisalov and public calls by SCA
A/S Richard Boucher and the Ambassador on the Kyrgyz
Government to tackle organized crime have received wide play
here. The MFA statement was likely an attempt to head off
any further public comments by the Embassy. The Ambassador
intends to continue to voice the U.S. position and meet with
representatives of all parts of Kyrgyz society and public
life.
YOVANOVITCH