Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Kyrgyzstan

Delivered in Plenary - 20th April 2010

Mr President

Recent events in Bishkek are alarming and a sad end to the 2005 Tulip Revolution, or Colour Revolution, when President Bakiyev had promised democracy and human rights and instead delivered corruption, nepotism and increasing autocracy.

Kyrgyzstan remains the smallest and poorest country in Central Asia and has undergone a worrying infiltration of radical Islamists in the Fergana Valley in recent years, so stability must be the EUís priority for the region.

It is right and proper now to recognise the new Otunbayeva Government, an unusual example where we have a common interest with that of Russia, which actually supported the revolution and overthrow of the Bakiyev regime. President Roza Otunbayeva served briefly as Ambassador to the United Kingdom, so she knows the workings of the European Union well.

Lastly, Central Asia is a strategic region for reasons of energy and global security and the operational capability of the US air base in Kyrgyzstan is vitally important to support ISAF in Afghanistan as well.