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OSCE diplomats lend tepid support to Kyrgyzstan

OSCE diplomats lend tepid support to Kyrgyzstan

Senior diplomats from Western and former Soviet countries agreed Saturday to boost their support for violence-wracked Kyrgyzstan, including backing a multinational police force, but made little tangible progress on how assistance should be delivered.
The officials met in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan as part of an informal gathering of diplomats from 56 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a trans-Atlantic grouping that many hope could take a lead role in guiding Kyrgyzstan to stability.
Impoverished Kyrgyzstan has returned to relative calm since clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in June claimed hundreds of lives and reduced large parts of the southern cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad to smoldering ruins. But tensions remain high amid claims by minority Uzbeks, who bore the brunt of June's violence, that security forces are disproportionately targeting them in the drive to investigate and punish those responsible for the riots.
Kyrgyzstan's fate is of acute interest to the United States, which has an air base in the country that is a transit point for soldiers and supplies to and from Afghanistan. Russia also has a military base in Kyrgyzstan.
The OSCE has said it is prepared to send around 50 police advisers to Kyrgyzstan. Critics say that is too small a ccontribution, but proponents believe it is an important step forward.
Kazakhstan, which hosted Saturday's meeting at a mountain resort outside the country's largest city Almaty, said it will give Kyrgyzstan $10 million to help it buy construction materials and fuel for its power plants. That comes on top of multimillion-dollar aid packages pledged by the United States, European Union nations and Russia.


Updated : 2021-04-17 14:41 GMT+08:00