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08BISHKEK1059 2008-10-22 05:05:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bishkek
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1. (C) On the margins of the Embassy-hosted American
Chamber of Commerce's Members Day reception on October 21,
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Karabayev, the guest speaker,
approached the Ambassador. He commented that it was
extremely helpful to have had the Secretary call President
Bakiyev on September 28, followed so quickly by Assistant
Secretary Boucher's October 17 visit. He asked what spurred
this outreach. The Ambassador responded that we had
understood that Kyrgyzstan was under pressure in the wake of
the Georgia conflict and in the run-up to hosting the October
9 CIS summit. The Ambassador had reported this and found
support in Washington for reaching out to the Kyrgyz.

2. (C) Karabayev responded that the U.S. Qessment of the
situation was absolutely right on the mark, and the response
was effective. He added that the Ambassador was startiQout
on the right foot, and he appreciated Q initiative in
hosting a Member's Day event around the goal of building
U.S.-Kyrgyz trade relations. He welcomed her focus on making
real economic cooperation a hallmark of her tenure,
commenting that this was exactly the right way to proceed.
If the Ambassador continues to emphasize these themes, he
added, she would be very successful.



3. (C) Karabayev's comments confirm that the Kyrgyz were
indeed under considerable pressure from Russia. The
Secretary's personal intervention to calle President Bakiyev,
and her decision to send Assistant Secretary Boucher to meet
with him, provided much needed reassurance that the U.S.
values Kyrgyzstan's decision to host Manas Air Base and does
not take it for granted. This was precisely the right
message at the right time for Kyrgyzstan.