Kyrgyz president cancels official visit to US

Kyrgyz president cancels US trip to avoid Moscow’s anger, says Kyrgyz opposition lawmaker

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev speaks during a news conference at the Ala-Archa state residence.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has cancelled an important visit to the United States that was planned for late September, amid elections and speculations are threatening to damage the relationship between Bishkek and Washington. 

President Atambaev had planned to attend the UN General Assembly's annual session on Sept. 28 and meet with a number of foreign leaders, including US President Barack Obama.

Cancellation of the trip is likely to spark speculation that what the US State Department describes as a "strong partnership" is untwisting in a region where Russia and China, two major rivals in the region, are challenging US international relation. 

His spokesman, Almaz Usenov, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service on Aug. 27 that next month's trip was cancelled due to parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 4.

The opposition lawmaker Ravshan Jeenbekov, criticised the predsident’s decision saying that the trip was cancelled to avoid Moscow’s anger towards Bishkek.

"If we do not visit the [United Nations], international organizations and groups will be less interested in us," Jeenbekov told RFE/RL.

"The United States and other Western states might decrease their economic, humanitarian, and social assistance to Kyrgyzstan. It is wrong to follow Russia only. That might turn into an obstacle for our politicians and our youth."

Atambaev, who became president in December 2011, has never paid a presidential visit to the United States.

The Kyrgyz air base at Manas was a key logistic route for military and other operations in Afghanistan used by the United States and its allies after 9/11 attack, and later handed the facility back in June 2014.     


TRTWorld and agencies