Kyrgyzstan has followed through on its threat to cancel a cooperation agreement with the US after the US awarded a human rights prize to Azimzhan Askarov, an activist currently serving a life sentence in Kyrgyz prison. Human Rights Groups have recently demanded Askarov’s release from jail, and the deal had granted US personnel connected with aid programmes diplomatic status.
Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Emil Kaykiyev said “we think that when some actions are taken against the strengthening of ethnic peace and harmony in our country and when the resulting situation does not resulting situation does not coincide with the national interests of the country, any help from another state loses its value.” Askarov is an Uzbek national, and was convicted following the interethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 when more than 400 were killed, and his statements from prison have said that he was tortured by police.
This is only the latest in a completely downward spiral of relations between the US and the Kyrgyz republic, beginning with renegotiation of leasing rates around the Manas airbase in late 2013, to Russian interference in military base renegotiation at Kant, to admittance to the Eurasian Economic Union, and finally to the current situation.
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- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been busily defending the Iran deal against critics within his own administration and with the power brokers surrounding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The deal will impose inspections and curbs on the ability of Iran to enrich its nuclear fuel to weapons-grade levels in exchange for the systematic easing of sanctions that have largely crippled Iran’s economy. EU leaders have also needed to patch up relations with entities that were against the deal like Saudi Arabia.
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