|08BISHKEK892||2008-09-02 11:40:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Bishkek|
1. (C) Summary: Ambassador delivered copies of her
credentials to Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Karabayev during a
brief introductory meeting September 2. Ambassador stressed
that she hoped to strengthen the bilateral relationship in
areas of shared values and interests, including security
cooperation, economic development, good governance, and
education. Ambassador also delivered Ref A points asking the
Kyrgyz government to refrain from recognizing South Ossetia
and Abkhazia during the Collective Security Treaty
Organization (CSTO) meeting September 5 in Moscow. Karabayev
said he welcomed further development of the bilateral
relationship, particularly in the sphere of economics and
trade. Karabayev asked for a quick decision on the Kyrgyz
request to establish a consulate in New York, and he asked
for U.S. assistance to establish monitoring stations to
measure damage caused by fuel dumping by U.S. airplanes.
Referring to the CSTO meeting, Karabayev said that the Kyrgyz
government would make any decisions in line with its national
interests. End Summary.
2. (C) On September 2, Ambassador Gfoeller paid a brief
introductory call on Foreign Minister Ednan Karabayev in
order to deliver a copy of her letter of credence.
Ambassador thanked Karabayev for meeting with her on her
first day of work in Kyrgyzstan. She congratulated Karabayev
on the 17th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan's independence, and
gave him a copy of President Bush's national day message to
President Bakiyev (Ref C). Noting the Secretary's letter of
condolence to Karabayev (Ref B), Ambassador also expressed
condolences over the August 24 airplane crash near Manas
3. (C) Ambassador said that she hoped to build on the
accomplishments of former Ambassador Yovanovitch and continue
to strengthen the U.S.-Kyrgyz bilateral relationship.
Ambassador said that she wanted to build a stronger
relationship based on shared interests and values, including
security and anti-terrorism cooperation through the Manas
Coalition Air Base. She said that the United States was
committed to helping Kyrgyzstan build its democracy and good
governance, particularly through the Millennium Challenge
program, and she said we would continue to look for
opportunities to build economic and trade relations.
Ambassador also noted the importance of bilateral cooperation
on education, with the American University of Central Asia
being a centerpiece of that effort.
4. (C) Karabayev welcomed the Ambassador to Krygyzstan. He
praised the work of former Ambassador Yovanovitch, and he
said he looked forward to working closely her during her
tenure here. Karabayev said he wanted to get past "problem
areas," such as the Manas Air Base, and concentrate on
greater cooperation in the sphere of economy and trade; he
hoped that the two sides could realize "concrete projects."
5. (C) Karabayev asked for a fast response from the
Department on the Kyrgyz government's request to accredit a
consular officer and open consular services in New York.
Karabayev said there was an increasing number of Kyrgyz
citizens in the New York area who need such services.
Ambassador told Karabayev that she would try to get an answer
as quickly as possible.
6. (C) Karabayev said that the natural environment, with
mountains, glaciers, and water, was Kyrgyzstan's biggest
asset. He then asserted that fuel dumped from U.S. airplanes
operating out of Manas Air Base was threatening the
BISHKEK 00000892 002.2 OF 002
environment. He asked for U.S. assistance to establish
monitoring stations around the country to measure the damage
to the environment. (Note: A KC-135R Stratotanker assigned
to Manas Air Base dumped 31,000 liters of fuel at
approximately 7300 meters above ground level in a remote
mountain area in southern Kyrgyzstan as the result of an
in-flight emergency in June 2008. This was the first fuel
dumping from a U.S plane in Kyrgyzstan since September 2005.
7. (C) Karabayev also raised the Yasynov case. (Note:
Karabayev was referring to a Kyrgyz citizen who was allegedly
injured as a result of a 1999 road accident involving a
vehicle driven by an embassy officer. The U.S. government
has declined to accept the jurisdiction of a Kyrgyz court,
essentially asserting sovereign immunity in the matter. End
8. (C) Ambassador raised Ref A points concerning Russia's
recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. She expressed
appreciation that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, at
its August 28 summit meeting, had not recognized the
independence of Georgia's breakaway territories. Ambassador
urged that CSTO members not allow Russia to use the September
5 meeting to secure international recognition for the
territories. Ambassador also asked how the Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS), which will hold its summit meeting
in Bishkek October 10, will approach the issue. Karabayev
visibly tensed up at the mention of the SCO, CSTO, and CIS
meetings. He gave a very general statement that all
international organizations needed to strengthen their
mechanisms of cooperation. Referring to the CSTO meeting,
Karabayev said that the Kyrgyz government would make any
decisions in line with its national interests.
9. (C) Comment: Two forces were in play during the meeting.
On one hand, Karabayev appeared on edge at any mention of
Russia or the summit meetings, and he clearly did not want to
talk about Russia's actions in Georgia. He also cast his
review of the bilateral relationship, including the Manas Air
Base and fuel dumping, as problems. However, on the positive
side, Karabayev made a point of meeting with the Ambassador
on her first day in the office. Her MFA meeting had been set
with the Deputy Foreign Minister, but Karabayev, who
complained in an aside to the Ambassador that he had to
travel early the next morning, made time to take the meeting
himself. He was cordial throughout, but he seemed a man