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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[08.04.23] Ambassador John OKeefe: Iraq War Will Not Cause Increase in Anti-American Attitudes in Kyrgyzstan

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan John O'Keefe said he hopes the war in Iraq will not cause an increase in anti-American sentiment in Kyrgyzstan.
In an interview with Interfax on Tuesday, the ambassador noted that it is extremely important that Kyrgyz citizens, who have been holding antiwar rallies, can openly voice their opinion, which, he said, will promote the general development of democratic institutions in the country.
He, however, pointed out that Kyrgyz citizens are currently facing pressing problems related to unemployment and the need to ensure economic growth in the country and provide security at its borders, which likely worries them no less than the Iraq war.
The U.S. and Kyrgyzstan are building relations on a firm basis, the ambassador said, noting that the two countries are cooperating under the Operation Enduring Freedom within the antiterrorist coalition and are working together on economic and security issues both in Kyrgyzstan and in the region on the whole.
The U.S. government provided $37.8 million worth of aid to Kyrgyzstan, and this figure is expected to grow to $40 million in 2004.
In addition, the U.S. allotted over $6 million for Kyrgyzstan under a UN project on fighting drug trafficking, O'Keefe said.
Interfax, April 08, 2003

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