EU says to support Kyrgyzstan's gov't if quick return to democracy

EU said it would offer Kyrgyzstan's interim government political and economic support if satisfied it was committed to a quick return to democracy.

EU says to support Kyrgyzstan's gov't if quick return to democracy

The European Union said on Tuesday it would offer Kyrgyzstan's interim government political and economic support if satisfied it was committed to a quick return to democracy.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was encouraged by early signs, including pledges of a new constitution and elections, but underlined the need for the involvement of all parties and ethnic groups.

"The provisional government needs to commit to a clear plan for how to return to constitutional and democratic order and the rule of law," Ashton told the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg.

"If we are satisfied that the provisional government is committed to a quick return to legitimacy and genuinely wants to join the democratic family, the European Union will be ready to provide the necessary political, financial and technical support."

Russia and the United States have pledged aid to Kyrgyzstan, where President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted on April 7, but Washington and the EU have not yet recognised the new government.

Ashton said the priority was to ensure stability and public order. She also called for accountability and justice after more than 80 people were killed and hundreds were wounded by gunfire against demonstrators in Bishkek.

Ashton said she would discuss the political framework in which the 27-country EU would be willing to assist Kyrgyzstan at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.

"A strong and credible plan for an early return to legitimate government in Kyrgyzstan will allow the EU to re-engage and offer sorely needed support," she said.

She said the EU could help in constitutional and electoral reform and by providing short-term humanitarian aid as well as assistance in human rights, education and erasing poverty.

The unrest in Kyrgyzstan has raised concerns about the future of an U.S. air base in the country used to supply NATO's operation in Afghanistan, to which European countries have contributed thousands of troops.

Reuters

Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2010, 18:57
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