Wednesday, 24 April 2002


Published in Field Reports
Rate this item
(0 votes)

By Anna Kirey (4/24/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)

Bill Taylor, coordinator of U.S. assistance to the newly independent states at the State Department, visited Kyrgyzstan this month.

Bill Taylor, coordinator of U.S. assistance to the newly independent states at the State Department, visited Kyrgyzstan this month. The purpose of the visit was to discuss U.S. involvement in Kyrgyzstan’s  economic development in the framework of a bilateral memorandum on mutual understanding, cooperation and support of economic reforms in the Kyrgyz Republic.  During the day of the visit, Mr. Taylor met with government officials, alumni of US-government-sponsored programs and representatives of civil society and the independent mass media.

Mr. Taylor had a meeting with Vice-Premier Nikolay Tanaev where the conclusions of the February visit of Kyrgyz economic delegation to the U.S. were discussed. As he stated in an interview to the local ‘Pyramid’ TV station, He plans to lobby the U.S. Congress to double the sum of support, which would make it US$ 60 million. The U.S. would assist in the development of the private sector including small business development, provide experts assistance, assist with securing borders and water as well as health reforms.  Taylor also met with the governor of Osh region and discussed investments into agriculture in the region.

The US provides humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan, giving 400,000 out of 500,000 tons received by the republic in the last decade. The aid is mostly distributed directly to vulnerable groups through USAID agencies, and not through the government. At the meeting with alumni of US government exchange programs which took place at the American University in Kyrgyzstan, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Alumni talked about their experiences and what they learned during a year in the United States. Alumni of the Freedom Support Act Future Leaders Exchange shared their views on contributing to the future of Kyrgyzstan and told Mr. Taylor about a variety of community projects they are involved in. The funding for this programs was increased and 50 students will be able to spend a year at an American high school compared to approximately 30 per year in the past years. Bill Taylor said that it was “inspiring” to meet with alumni.

As Bill Taylor acknowledged at a meeting with the U.S. Congress’ International Relations Committee, Kyrgyzstan along with Moldova and Georgia is making a “genuine” commitment to reform, especially in comparison with Belarus and Turkmenistan. However, the meeting with independent media showed that democratic reform at least with the freedom of mass media in Kyrgyzstan is going backwards. The media representatives blamed the government and mostly President Akaev and his family for restricting them from reporting on topics that do not fall under government-approved criteria, such as opposition demonstrations, corruption, social instability, etc. Government-monopolized publishing houses, requirements of registration of publishing devices and licensing for publishing activities were among the issues raised. The in the meeting mostly represented newspapers that were shut down by the government and human rights activists. They claim that Kyrgyzstan is following the trends of all Post-Soviet governments where the governments are increasing executive powers and sidelining the media.

Bill Taylor commented that the US is concerned with respect to human rights and democratic freedoms in Kyrgyzstan and that the memorandum includes responsibilities of Kyrgyz government aimed at improving democratic institutions, human rights and the freedom of mass media. He also acknowledged, however, that it is a difficult time for the Kyrgyz Government.

Anna Kirey
Read 2389 times

Visit also





Joint Center Publications

Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell and S. Frederick Starr, Modernization and Regional Cooperation in Central Asia: A New Spring, November 2018.

Book S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, ed., Uzbekistan’s New Face, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Article Svante E. Cornell, “Turkish-Saudi Rivalry: Behind the Khashoggi Affair,” The American Interest, November 6, 2018.

Article Mamuka Tsereteli, “Landmark Caspian Deal Could Pave Way for Long-Stalled Energy Projects,” World Politics Review, September 2018.

Article Halil Karaveli, “The Myth of Erdoğan’s Power,” Foreign Affairs, August 2018.

Book Halil Karaveli, Why Turkey is Authoritarian, London: Pluto Press, 2018.

Article Svante E. Cornell, “Erbakan, Kısakürek and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey,” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, June 2018.

Article S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, “Uzbekistan: A New Model for Reform in the Muslim World,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, May 12, 2018.

Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell, Religion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan, April 2018.

Book S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, The Long Game on the Silk Road: US and EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Caucasus, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Article Svante E. Cornell, “Central Asia: Where Did Islamic Radicalization Go?,” Religion, Conflict and Stability in the Former Soviet Union, eds Katya Migacheva and Bryan Frederick, Arlington, VA: RAND Corporation, 2018.


The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.


Sign up for upcoming events, latest news and articles from the CACI Analyst