The United States says it welcomes statements from Kyrgystan's interim
government that it will abide by existing agreements to keep a U.S. air
base open in the country.
Assistant Secretary of State (for South and Central Asian Affairs)Robert
Blake told reporters Monday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was
given the assurances by interim leader Roza Otunbayeva.
Blake spoke before departing for Kyrgyzstan, where he will meet with
Ms. Otunbayeva and others on Wednesday. The diplomat says he wants to
hear the interim government's assessment of the law and order situation
and the steps the temporary administration plans to take to organize
democratic elections within six months.
NATO said Monday the Manas air base that supports its military
operations in Afghanistan has resumed full operations after days of
Earlier Monday, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev told supporters in
the south of Kyrgyzstan that he remains the legitimate leader of the
former Soviet republic.
The deposed leader made his first public appearance since he fled the
capital after violence last week left about 80 people dead and hundreds
Speaking to supporters in the southern city of Teyit, Mr. Bakiyev described the interim leaders as "gangsters."
One interim government leader (Almaz Atambayev, the first deputy leader of Kyrgyzstan's new government) said a "special operation" is planned to arrest Mr. Bakiyev that will be carried out "with no innocent blood shed."
In Bishkek, the country's new leaders said the Kyrgyz people can expect
changes under the interim government, including transforming the
political system into a parliamentary republic from a presidential
Tensions had been growing in the mountainous, impoverished country of 5
million people over complaints of rampant corruption, rising prices and
the repressive policies of President Bakiyev.