Rice Lauds Kyrgyzstan's Democratic Progress
(RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Kyrgyzstan today
for her first stop in a three-day tour of Central
Rice took part in a
roundtable discussion on Kyrgyz reforms and constitutional issues in Bishkek
before meeting with Prime Minister Feliks Kulov and President Kurmanbek Bakiev.
"It is good to be here in Kyrgyzstan at a time of excitement and a time
of promise," Rice said during a press conference. "We watched with great
interest the 'tulip revolution.' We watched with great interest the Kyrgyz
people who decided to take fate into their own hands and to give themselves a
chance for democracy."
"I came here to Kyrgyzstan so that
you might know, whether in government or in civil society, that you will have
a steady friend in the United States who believes, too, in democratic values,
and as those democratic values take root here in Kyrgyzstan, relations between
the United States and Kyrgyzstan will only grow." --
She also urged Kyrgyzstan's constitutional council
to complete reforms soon, saying: "I want to urge the constitutional council to
complete the reform process by the end of 2005, forming a new constitution in
open partnership with parliament and the full range of society."
will be in Kazakhstan tomorrow for talks with President Nursultan Nazarbaev. She
has called on the Kazakh leader to ensure the country's 4 December presidential election is free and
The U.S. secretary of state is also due to visit Tajikistan and
Afghanistan. She also plans to make a side trip to Pakistan following the
country's devastating earthquake on 8 October.
Copyright (c) 2005 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
... Payvand News - 10/11/05 ... --